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Are you enjoying your summer? Do you have any vacations planned?

Hopefully you’ll have opportunity for a refreshing time away from the routine. I still remember the road trips our family took when I was a kid. Loading up the Chevy and heading west to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands of South Dakota. A hiking camping trip to the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming. A boy never forgets the first time he catches a Rainbow Trout.

Summer vacations make for great fun and lasting memories. Not to mention good stories that will be told and re-told around the dinner table for decades to come. Taking precautions before you leave on your vacation can help insure those stories will be happy ones.

Your friends at Sinclair offer these tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away on vacation.

If you can, find a house-sitter. A security system offers peace of mind, but having a trusted friend or family member live in your home while you are away is best. They can take care of your pets if you have them and do all the simple daily tasks that come with your home being “lived in”. Plus, there is the benefit of being able to pick up the phone and make that, “Is everything ok?” call if you start worrying.

Lock your house. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Yet you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget. Lock all doors and windows. If your pets are going with you or staying elsewhere, put the slider in the dog door to lock it up. If you have electric garage door openers, unplug them. That eliminates any opportunity for someone using a universal remote to potentially open them.

Unplug electronic devices. If you’re going to be gone for a lengthy period of time, unplug devices like computers, stereos and televisions. It will save on energy costs and in the unlikely event of an electrical surge during a storm, your electronics will be safe.

Set your thermostat at a reasonable level. This is where a programmable thermostat comes in handy. If you don’t have one, set the thermostat lightly higher than normal. Don’t turn the AC off completely.

Have a friend watch your property. Asking a trusted neighbor to check your property once a day will bring you peace of mind. They can pick up any newspapers (if you’re still getting them) and advertising flyers left on or around your door. Accumulated papers in the yard is an easy clue that no one is home.

Set your lights on timers. When you’re away, it’s important to make your home look “lived in”. Setting some interior lights on timers to go on for a few hours in the evening helps that look.

In our internet world where we pay bills and conduct business online, most people don’t receive the amount of paper mail they used to. Yet it’s a good idea to have the post office hold your mail. You can set up the start and end date online by going to USPS.gov.

If you have a security system, arm it as you leave. If you’re having friends check your home, make sure they are aware of it so they don’t accidentally set it off.

Finally, don’t announce your trip to the world. Yes, it’s exciting to go to Disneyland or go to Chicago for deep dish pizza and your first game at Wrigley Field. But resist talking about it to too many people. Criminals like knowing when and how long you’ll be gone. Don’t announce it on Facebook. Wait until you get home to post your pictures.

Your friends at Sinclair hope you’ll have a fun and memorable vacation. We are here to help you stay cool this summer. Call us today at 806-749-COOL (2665) and we’ll be pleased to make sure your cooling system is operating at peak efficiency.

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