Vacations are all about relaxing. The last thing anyone wants to come home to is a mess or worse, theft. By preparing your home before you leave, the risk of accidents or burglary will be greatly reduced. Follow these tips before hitting the road for a truly care-free getaway.
1. Give the impression someone is home:
- Park your car in the garage (if available) and ask a neighbor to park their car in your driveway occasionally.
- Have a neighbor collect your mail, packages and newspapers or have delivery paused.
- Use a timer to turn on lights in the home regularly.
- Mow your lawn before leaving or have someone cut the grass while gone.
2. Protect your home against criminal activity:
- Install a motion activated sensor on an outside floodlight.
- Make sure all windows, doors, and gates are locked.
- Remove all spare keys from any hidden exterior spots and bring them inside.
- Set your security alarm and monitor security devices.
3. Set your thermostat:
Make sure you program your thermostat to keep your home at a safe temperature range. The ideal temperature range to keep the home when on vacation is 82-85 degrees in the summer and 60-65 degrees in the winter. This will keep your home and humidity levels comfortable without wasting energy (and money) while you’re gone.
4. Unplug electronics and small appliances:
Unplug electronics like TVs, computers, kitchen appliances, etc. to prevent excess power usage and to reduce the risk of an electrical fire.
5. Check your water and plumbing:
Turn off the water valves to the washing machine, dishwasher, sinks and toilets to prevent accidental leaks or ruptures. Shut off the water heater or put it in “vacation mode”.
6. General home preparation:
- Take out the trash before going on the trip.
- Leave closet doors open to prevent musty air.
- Go through your fridge and cabinets and throw away items that will go bad while you’re gone. Clean the refrigerator and place an open box of baking soda in the fridge to absorb odors.
- Notify your credit card company and your security company (if you have one) that you’ll be going on vacation.
- Make sure to leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor.
- Have a neighbor water your plants and check on your home.