If you’re planning a vacation, especially an extended one, there are many preparations you need to make before you leave. In the hustle and bustle of getting ready, do not forget to prepare your home to be safe and incident-free while you’re away.
To avoid any problems with plumbing, appliances, or other household items:
- Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
- Unplug electronic devices and small appliances.
- Turn the temperature down on your thermostat to conserve energy. But keep the heat at 55 degrees or higher to ensure that the interior of the wall cavities, where the water piping is located, does not drop below freezing.
- Take out any garbage or old food in your refrigerator before you leave.
- If possible, set your water heater to “vacation.”
To make your house look lived-in so it does not attract burglars:
- Put your mail and newspaper on hold until you return in order to prevent it from overflowing your mailbox, or ask a trusted friend, neighbor, or relative to regularly collect your mail while you’re gone. And don’t forget to ask them to also collect any flyers or other items that may be left at your door.
- Motion-sensitive exterior lights are good for helping to discourage prowlers, as are lights inside the home. Put lights on timers and set them to come on at varying times.
- Arrange to have someone mow the lawn if the grass gets too high or remove snow that may accumulate on the driveway and walkways.
- Make sure your alarm systems are in good working order and have been activated.
- Do not post your vacation or travel plans on social media sites as potential thieves can then learn your house is vacant.
- Ask a trusted friend, neighbor or relative to keep an eye on your home and be available in emergency situations.