Summer is synonymous with vacation. Travel, be it for a weekend or a month often means vacancy at home. Having a trusted neighbor or family friend periodically check on the home can also be helpful in preventing any problems. Don’t leave your home unprotected. Here are a few safety tips to be sure your home is ready for your vacation too.
Keep it Looking Occupied – An empty house is an invitation for burglars. To avoid leaving your house looking empty;
- Park your car inside the garage – it’s even a great idea to pack the car in the garage. Nothing says vacant like packing luggage in the driveway for all to see.
- Stop the newspaper and mail (or ask a neighbor to pick them up).
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
- Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight.
- Put at least one light on a timer.
- Make sure your lawn stays trimmed.
Plumbing & Electrical Precautions – beyond the expense factor for utilities, not protecting your appliances could also leave to damage and unexpected costs.
- Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
- Put the water heater in vacation mode.
- Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks.
- Set the thermostat to a temperature that is less comfortable, but still protects your plants, pets and furniture.
- Electronics should be plugged into a surge protector.
- Install and test a battery backup on the Sump Pump if you have one.
General Preparation Tips – Don’t forget the simple items before you leave.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
- Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor.
- Run your garbage disposer with a half cup of vinegar and some water.
- Toss out any food that will go bad before you return from vacation.
- Take out the kitchen trash, or any other trash that could get smelly.
Lastly, don’t rush. Enjoy your time away and make the most of the memories you’ll create!