Whether you’re planning to go somewhere on spring break or making plans for the upcoming summer, don’t leave your home without ensuring it’s safe and ready for when you return.
Below is a list of tasks that will help you plan ahead and be ready when it’s time to leave.
- Suspend your newspaper and mail delivery or have a neighbor collect them for you.
- Do NOT 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.
- 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 which to come home!
- Turn off the water to your washing machine. While you are away your washing machine hoses can break causing major 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 in moisture.
- 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.