As any student enrolled in Kokomo Schools can tell you, two weeks of glorious spring break officially begins at the end of the day March 22.

For many families in the area it will mean getting out of town. So, with that in mind, here are some tips culled from a longer list by Sara Elliot of HowStuffWorks for keeping your home safe while on spring break:

• Board your pets, or hire a pet sitter: Make sure your pets are taken care of while you’re out of town. If you don’t board them, make arrangements to have someone stop by and make sure they have enough food, water and time outside.

• Hire a house-sitter: Even better, you could hire someone to actually live in your house while you’re gone. This might be a better option if you plan on being gone for some time. While they’re there, they could also do some light landscaping to keep up appearances in your absence.

• Hold your mail: The United States Post Office will hold your mail for up to a month free of charge. This will prevent a mailbox full of unopened letters while you’re gone.

• Invest in timers: These will allow your house to look as if someone is there, even when no one is. You can adjust the settings on these devices to turn lights on and off at predetermined times.

• Be discreet: This is easier said than done in the age of social media, but the fewer people who know you’re gone, the better. Thieves are much more likely to attempt a break-in if they know no one is home.

• Unplug everything: Not only will this save power, it can also thwart would-be burglars. “Turning off your garage door is also an effective way to keep thieves from opening it with a universal remote,” wrote Elliot.

Kokomo Tribune editorial board

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