Before you leave for vacation this summer make sure your home is safe and ready for your return. Below is a list of tips to help you plan ahead and be prepared when it’s time to leave on vacation so that you can enjoy stress free travels!
- Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery or have a neighbor collect them for you.
- Don’t leave a message on your voice mail or post on your social network site (i.e. Facebook) that you will be out of town.
- If you have pets, plan ahead and make arrangements at the kennel or with a neighbor to take care of them.
- Turn off all the lights so you’re not wasting electricity. Although it is a good idea to have several lights set on timers to give the appearance that people are home.
- Unplug any fixtures and appliances that will not be used such as computers, chargers, TVs, etc.
- Turn the ringer volume on your phone down so someone outside can’t hear that it’s going unanswered.
- Set your air conditioning system to a higher temperature so it won’t cool your home unnecessarily. However, don’t set it so low that you’ll come home to a hot humid house. Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperatures higher while you are away, saving money in lower utility bills, and then restore temperatures to a comfortable level before you return home. Some models even offer vacation mode, so you can come home to a nice, cool home!
- Before you leave make sure you check all appliances and faucets to make sure they are off. If you have a leaky faucet, have it fixed before going on vacation. Even a drip can cause an increase in your water bill. That’s not a fun surprise to come home to.
- Turn off the water to your washing machine. While you are away your washing machine hoses can break causing flood damage to your home before you are able to do anything about it.
- Empty garbage cans and recycling bins.
- Make sure dishes and laundry are clean before leaving. Don’t leave damp towels lying around.
- Lock all doors and windows, especially the ones between your home and garage. For extra security, place a bar in the frame of your patio doors.
- Don’t leave valuables in sight of doors or windows.
- Take care of your houseplants. Leave directions with a neighbor or cover plants with plastic bags; this becomes a make-shift greenhouse that helps keep moisture in.
- Inform a neighbor when you are leaving and returning and ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious.
- Lastly, leave your neighbor a phone number where you can be reached and an extra key in case of an emergency.