It’s almost Spring Break season! With all the travel plans you might be making, don’t forget to also make plans to protect your home while you’re away.

Follow the ideas below from HomeAdvisor to secure your home and reduce the chances of theft or damage so you can enjoy a worry-free, much-deserved vacation.

Lock it up. Make sure your house is as locked-up and secure as it can be. One of the doors that is often forgotten is the door leading to the garage. Even though doors and windows are locked tight, be sure to leave some curtains and blinds open to give the illusion that someone is around.

Set timers on lights. Select a few rooms in your house to remain lit to reduce the chances that any thief casing the neighborhood will notice that you’ve been gone. Have outdoor lights, especially around entrances, set to light up every evening. A bright house welcomes friendly guests, and discourages undesirable visitors.

Create a “lived-in” look. Talk with a trusted neighbor to help you give the impression that someone is home. Have them use your outdoor trash cans and collect your mail, newspapers, and any delivered packages. Stacked up mail and newspapers along with empty trash cans can be a clear sign to anyone that you’re not home and may be gone a while. Offer a spare key to your neighbor rather than leaving it under the mat or in a faux rock or statue. It’s important to leave a key in case of emergencies, but it’s also helpful to have someone check in on your home periodically to ensure no one has entered in your absence and that no water or other damage has occurred.

Prevent damage from power surges. It would really be bad if you come home and find many of your valuable electronic appliances and items damaged or destroyed due to a power surge. Consider unplugging the computer, TV and other electronics. Or, if you haven’t already, you could connect electronics to a surge protector that has a good rating and can withstand a large load of power.

Don’t advertise your absence. It’s common for people to post all about their upcoming trip on social media, but avoid the urge. The more people who know your house will be empty, the more you open yourself up to the possibility of a planned break-in.

But do tell your security company. If you do happen to have a security system, do notify the company that you will be away. This is especially needed if you are going on an extended trip. Of course, it goes almost without saying to make sure that the alarm is set properly before you leave!

At VIP Insurance, we care about your property and your well-being. We hope you find these tips to be helpful for your next adventure away from home!