Prepare Your Home Before Leaving on Vacation

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and worry-free. Nobody wants to come home from a vacation to find their home has been burgled or discover their furniture floating about because of a burst pipe.

Make your house look lived-in

An empty house is a welcome invitation to burglars. To avoid making your house look empty:

  • Stop the newspaper and mail (or ask a neighbor to pick them up).
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Put at least one light on a timer.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight.
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed.

Take the necessary plumbing and electric precautions

Not only is running appliances an unnecessary utility expense, it also could lead to costly problems. To avoid the expense and headache of something going wrong with an appliance while you're away:

  • 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 and furniture.

General home preparation tips

Other tasks you should consider doing before your vacation:

  • Notify your credit card company that you are going out of town.
  • Notify your security company that you are going out of town.
  • 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.