10 Ways To Keep Your Home Safe While on Summer Vacation

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Whether you plan on taking a month-long beach vacation or a simple weekend getaway to the mountains, it’s necessary to take various steps to protect your home from break-ins and other sudden sources of damage while your family is away from home this summer.

Keep reading to see 10 summer vacation security tips and learn how your homeowners insurance policy can help in case of an unforeseen loss.

Key Takeaways

  • Theft is more common during the summer, so the best way to preserve your home’s security for summer vacation is to lower your exposure to theft by installing a security system, keeping your doors and windows locked, storing your valuables in hard-to-find places and keeping your vacation plans off of social media.
  • If you ask a friend to stay at or check on your home while you’re away, they may deter potential intruders and take care of any sudden damages that could occur like water damage from a burst pipe or rain damage after a tree branch falls through your roof.
  • Homeowners insurance covers theft and other sudden perils but you may need additional coverage to insure your valuables at their actual cash value (ACV) or replacement cost value (RCV).

1. Install a Smart Security System

Burglaries are most common in June, July and August and more than half of all burglaries in 2022 took place at residential properties, so it’s important to have a home security system in place that can deter would-be intruders heading into the summer months.[1][2] Smart home security systems are particularly useful because they can include numerous features that make it easier to keep your home safe while you are away.

For example, a smart home system may allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely, so you don’t have to worry about a break-in if you realize that you forgot to lock your doors before leaving. In addition, many smart security systems will notify you if your house is broken into and, if you happen to be away from your phone and don’t respond to the notification, your home security company may even contact the police for you in some cases.

2. Install Indoor and Outdoor Cameras

Security cameras can provide valuable insights in case things go wrong at home while you are on the road. For example, footage from a doorbell camera can make it easier for police officers to identify a porch pirate and retrieve your stolen packages.

Additionally, indoor security cameras can provide evidence to present to your insurance company’s adjuster in the event that you need to file a homeowners insurance claim for damage that occurs while you are out of town. For example, the video could show that water damage was caused by a sudden discharge of water from your washing machine and that the damage is therefore covered by your home insurance policy.

3. Invest in Outdoor Lighting and Motion Sensors

Outdoor lights that turn on automatically at night, turn on in response to motion or can be engaged remotely may also lower your exposure to theft since people may be more hesitant to try to break into your home if the area surrounding the house isn’t dark. You may also want to install motion detectors that trigger an audible alarm since this could potentially scare off intruders or alert your neighbors to the fact that there is an intruder on your property so they can call the police.

4. Make Sure All of Your Windows and Doors Are Locked

While you may be more apt to leave windows and doors open when it’s hot outside to improve the circulation of air in your home, you need to make sure you close and lock all the doors and windows before you go to bed and whenever you leave your house. Doing so ensures you won’t give intruders an easy entry point into your home and lowers the risk that you will experience damage inside of your home due to summer rain showers or other weather events.

5. Let Others Know You’ll Be Out of Town

As long as you know that your neighbors are trustworthy, you should tell them when you plan on going out of town and who is supposed to be at your house while you are gone, if anyone. This will make it easier for them to know if there is suspicious activity going on at your house and whether they should get in touch with you or call the police.

6. Ask Your Neighbors, Family or Friends To Check In on Your Home

Similarly, you should consider asking a trusted neighbor, friend or family member to stay at your house while you are gone or, at the very least, come over to check on your house every day. They should be able to notice and report if there has been a break-in, test your smoke alarms and other alarms as necessary and address any sudden damage that may have occurred overnight such as a tree branch falling through your roof. Be sure to leave them a list of important emergency contact numbers.

Your designated housesitter may also help make your house look lived in by picking up mail and packages, keeping a car parked in your driveway and keeping the inside lights on during the daytime, which may discourage prospective intruders from trying to break in.

If you don’t have someone who can housesit for you, consider submitting a request for your local post office to hold your mail until after your summer vacation dates to avoid an overflowing mailbox.

7. Store Your Valuables in a Safe Space

Anytime you plan on leaving your home for an extended period of time, you should make sure your jewelry and other valuables are stored strategically and safely. Theft is the most common jewelry-related loss according to Lemonade Insurance’s internal claims data, so you should consider hiding your jewelry rather than leaving it out next to windows where it could be easily spotted from the outside.[3]

In addition, you could split up your jewelry among multiple boxes and store them in different places so that, even if a home intruder discovers one stash, they might not find your entire collection. You may also want to store your valuables on shelves or otherwise keep them off of the floor to mitigate the risk that they will be ruined in case of a flood. If you’re particularly concerned about losing certain items, you could take them to the bank and store them in a safety deposit box until you get back from your trip.

8. Create a Home Inventory

It’s beneficial to keep an up-to-date home inventory to present as evidence for your home insurance claim in case any of your belongings are stolen or damaged while you are away. Your home inventory should include information such as when you obtained each of your most valuable items and how much you paid for them or, if you have had them appraised more recently, about how much they are currently worth.

home inventory example

9. Keep Your Vacation Plans off of (Public) Social Media

It can be risky to post about your vacation on social media, especially if you have a public account, since potential burglars could come across your posts and realize that your home is vulnerable to a break-in. To stay on the safe side, you should set your social media profiles to private and avoid posting about your trip until after you have returned home.

10. Get the Right Insurance Coverage for Your Home and Valuables

A standard homeowners insurance policy should include multiple coverage types that can insure your home against various damaging perils while you are away such as dwelling insurance to cover the physical structure of your home and personal property insurance to cover your possessions.

That said, your home insurance policy may place personal property coverage sublimits on valuable items like jewelry, firearms, carpets, silverware and more.[4] As a result, if a home intruder steals any of these items, your subsequent insurance payout could come out to less than the items are actually worth.

For this reason, you may want to purchase added protection in the form of a scheduled personal property coverage endorsement for your homeowners policy that allows you to raise your coverage limits for select items. Alternatively, you could consider buying a separate jewelry or collectibles insurance policy to make sure you have enough coverage for all of your valuables.

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Are break-ins and burglaries common during summer months?

Yes, burglaries are more common in June, July and August than in any other month, so it’s important to be proactive about following safety tips to protect your home during summer vacations.[1]

Does home insurance cover theft or break-ins?

Yes, a standard homeowners insurance policy should insure your home and belongings against theft and damage caused by a thief or vandal.

How do I secure my house for a long vacation?

Steps you should take to secure your home before going on vacation include installing a security system, paying someone to stay in or keep an eye on your house and making sure you have enough personal property coverage in case someone does break in and steal several of your belongings.


  1. United States Department of Justice. "Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends," Pages 1-2. Accessed May 17, 2024.
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Crime Data Explorer.” Accessed May 16, 2024.
  3. Lemonade Insurance. “Does Renters Insurance Cover Jewelry.” Accessed May 16, 2024.
  4. Oklahoma Insurance Department. “State Farm Homeowners Policy,” Page 6. Accessed May 17, 2024.

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