Preparing for an extended summer absence in your HOA

Summer safety tips: Protecting your home and community When a break is needed, we often wait until the summertime. Summer is the perfect time for the long-awaited vacation you have planned. Whether with family, friends, or riding solo, this season sets a variety of options for you to choose from for your break. However, during this very phase of planning, summer safety tips should be communicated to your community to achieve a memorable and hassle-free trip. Some of these include keeping the body well-hydrated consistently, being water-safe, and protecting it from the sun's harmful rays. Careful planning when leaving your home is vital. Therefore, apart from these crucial summer-fun tips, you must also consider what you leave behind, as cautious planning when leaving your home is critical.

Why is it important to stay safe in summer?

As the year progresses, it's essential to prioritize safety and security to minimize the risk of burglary, overgrown landscaping, and high utility costs in your HOA community. Both residents and board members can contribute to a safer community by taking proactive measures such as installing security cameras, trimming hedges, and monitoring energy consumption. Additionally, implementing check-ins and community watch programs can provide further protection. These will allow everyone to enjoy the season without worrying about the safety of their homes. By taking these steps, HOA communities can bring peace of mind to all residents during this time.

Consider these summer safety tips for your HOA community

  • Be sure to inform your HOA board or property manager of your departure. Keep them ahead by letting them know well in advance that you are headed out for the summer. You may also provide them with a point of contact if there is an emergency at the residence. This puts the HOA board or property management in a better position regarding updating security measures, as this will help contractors who perform maintenance or emergency responses know which homes will be empty.
  • Be mindful when sharing specific details about your travel plans. A tip to conceal the apparent vacancy of your home is to keep luggage or a vehicle packed out of view in a garage or another location. If you leave for a much-extended vacation, stopping mail and newspaper subscription services can avoid that buildup, indicating no one is home. However, another important consideration is being careful when posting plans on social media. This information can easily broadcast your absence to a broader audience—a potential setup for insecurity in your home. By taking precautions like these, you minimize the risk of burglary and ensure the safety of your home while away, giving you the peace of mind to fully enjoy your summer.
  • Energy saving for utility bill reduction. This comprises energy-saving strategies for reducing utility bills while you are away. Advanced technology today helps you control your mobile's lights, appliances, and thermostat settings. By adjusting your light patterns to imitate occupancy and setting up temperature settings relatively conservatively, you save money and contribute to environmental conservation. Other non-essential services, like water heaters, will also be shut down to conserve additional energy and prevent more costs. These green steps save money for you while saving planet Earth from degradation.
  • Allow for landscaping and maintenance continuity. Provide ongoing landscaping and maintenance to keep your property well, even when you are away. If anything, from lawn care to pool cleaning or any other duty, makes a property appear uncared for, hire a professional to handle the task. Investing in routine upkeep shows pride of ownership and contributes to your community's overall visual appeal. A well-maintained community is a source of pride for all residents and can deter potential intruders.
  • Keep your pets in mind.  In-home pet care services can be of help in a variety of manners. Some of these are keeping your home lived-in and reducing stress on pets. You minimize their stress and foster overall comfort and happiness when you put your pets under good care in the familiar surroundings of your own home. In-home pet care creates the illusion of occupancy in your home, which will deter possible intruders. Similarly, by searching through your veterinarian or online sources, pet owners can find a qualified pet sitter to give themselves and their beloved pets peace of mind.
  • Consider strengthening community ties with trusted neighbors. It would help to involve your trusted neighbors in monitoring your property while away. This is not just about security but also about fostering a sense of community and mutual support. Strong bonds within the community create an atmosphere of mutual support and neighborhood security. When someone does something for you, these favors and small gestures help grow a network of help from which everyone benefits. They might look over your home occasionally, collect your mail and trash, and have your property secured and well-maintained while you're away. Engaging with your community strengthens friendships and contributes to a safer, more cohesive neighborhood environment.

How can your community prepare for summer?

HOA communities can also get ahead of things and ensure their summer season—when many residents are on vacation—can be as safe and secure as possible. This can be realized by effective strategies, such as creating awareness and vigilance through community-wide safety workshops, informational sessions, and neighborhood watch programs! A vigilant culture is fostered by education, which endows residents with some essential tips. Furthermore, neighborhood watch programs and apps mobilize residents to monitor their streets as homes remain vacant.

Organizing access to practical resources, like master databases that travelers can note dates away and emergency contacts in and coordinating community landscaping/maintenance crews to facilitate affordable upkeep options are essential ways this is done. This security blanket is further enhanced by collaborating with police to have more neighborhood patrols or even looking into private security. Effective means of communication, such as email groups or social media sites, empower neighbors to communicate and look out for each other quickly. For example, neighbors can share concerns and resources within these means. Read more information regarding emergency communication and training within your HOA community here.

Summer break is a time of year when most people relish spending time on extended vacations. However, as you previously read, it is critical that you are aware of home and community security and maintenance while away. The summertime safety tips below can help protect your property from risks. You will continually be able to keep threats at bay and let your community look its best if you inform the correct departments, keep your departure private, schedule constant maintenance, have proper provisions for your pet, and keep friends or trusted neighbors in communication. Being prepared enables one to take time off and create lifelong memories amidst travels while feeling assured that your house and community are in good hands.

Don’t let an emergency or risk put the vacation you worked for at stake—take these proactive steps towards a much safer and more worry-free journey. Research your destination, keep your valuables secure, stay alert, and always have a backup plan. Enjoy every moment with peace of mind!

To learn how a professional management company like FirstService Residential can support your community, contact a member of our team
Tuesday June 04, 2024