The vacation you have been planning for 2 months is right around the corner and you can’t wait to leave. While your excitement is understandable, you don’t want to come back to a robbed or a damaged house. Preparing your house for your upcoming vacation is as important as checking your tickets before stepping out. So how do you get your house ready before you leave? Read on.
Tricking the Burglars
An empty house is like a winning lottery ticket for the burglars, who are always on the prowl for ‘out-for-a-vacation’ homes. Tricking burglars into thinking that someone is staying in the house will keep them away from it. You can achieve this by:
- Installing a motion-sensor on an outdoor floodlight
- Putting at least two lights on a timer for night safety
- Requesting a neighbor to pick up your mail so that it doesn’t pile up outside. Stop the newspaper subscription
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway
- Ensure that your garden stays trimmed
Give an impression that your house is being still lived-in even while you are gone. This will help in keeping those burglars away.
Plumbing and Electric Precautions
The main risk of damage mostly comes from flooding or fires caused in the house. Even if your neighbors are watching your home, it will take them time to realize if there is any water damage or if a fire broke out. Irreparable damage might be done by the time they alert the authorities. The best way to prevent this from happening is by taking certain plumbing and electric precautions. The following steps will help.
Step 1: Turn off the power and unplug all the electrical appliances such as TVs, computers, heaters etc. They add to the electric bill by drawing the power, and pose a risk of short-circuit and fire.
Step 2: Keep the refrigerator switched on and clean it along with freezer, garbage disposal and sink traps to avoid rotting food bits and offensive odors.
Step 3: Turn down the heating. Set the thermostats to a temperature of about 50 degrees, which is sufficient to keep the pipes from bursting. Adjust the temperature if you are leaving behind pets or sensitive house plants.
Step 4: Turn off the water supply to the house, especially the valves to washing machine, sinks and dishwasher. However, keep the water supply on for the fire detection and water sprinkler system.
Step 5: Put the water heater in vacation mode or turn it off.
Step 6: Check if you need any furnace repair or heating repairs before you leave. This will prevent accidents or any kind of damage in your absence.
Tips for General Home Preparation
In addition to plumbing and electric, you must take several general home precautions such as:
- Enlisting a friend or neighbor to check on your house in your absence. Leave your contact details with them in case of emergency. Tell them to occasionally drive by your house, water your plants or feed your pet in case you have one.
- Make sure all your smoke detectors are working efficiently.
- Notify in-home service professionals such as plumbers, gardeners, and your alarm service, security and credit card companies about your absence. Give them necessary instructions on how to proceed with things while you are away.
- Take out the trash and toss out any food that might rot.
Keeping these things in mind will allow you to enjoy your vacation without having to constantly think about it. Don’t let the excitement of the vacation blur the importance of taking precautions before you leave, as the safety of your house and all its precious contents depend on it. No matter where you go and how long you go for, you want to come back home and see it exactly the way you left it.