It’s officially spring here in Westchester and Fairfield Counties, which means spring break is right around the corner! Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and carefree so it’s important to make sure your home is secure before you leave. Luckily there are a variety of tasks you can complete to reduce the risk of accidents or burglary while you’re gone.
If you and your family are planning a trip for spring break this year, use these tips from the experts at ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration Services to keep your home safe while you are away:
General Home Preparation
1. Tidy Up
No one wants to return from vacation to a messy house. Take the time to tidy up before you head out, so you don’t have to worry about it later. Start by wiping down the counters, vacuuming the floors and doing the dishes.
2. Program Thermostat
Set your thermostat to a temperature close to the outside temperature. If you are vacationing in the summer, set it warmer; if you are vacationing in the winter, set it cooler. This will still protect any pets or plants and will help you save money on unnecessary power bills.
3. Unplug Appliances
A majority of your appliances don’t need to stay plugged in and running while you are away. Walk through your home and unplug things like computers, televisions and microwaves. This will prevent excessive power usage and reduce the risk of fire damage from an electrical fire.
4. Shut Off Water
If you are going to be away from home for an extended period of time, you should consider shutting the water off for your sinks, toilets, washing machine and dishwasher. This will help prevent frozen or burst pipes if your heat goes out. Finally, switch your water heater to “vacation mode” or turn it off.
Set Up Safety Precautions
5. Hold the Mail
Don’t let your mail pile up while you are gone. Burglars lookout for homes with lots of untouched mail. You can have the post office hold your mail, or have a friend stop by to pick it up until you get home.
6. Park in the Garage
If you have a garage, park your car in it while you are on vacation. This makes it less accessible to possible vandals and makes it less noticeable that the car hasn’t moved. If you don’t have a garage, ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway until you return.
7. Notify the Necessary
Make sure to let your security company know that you are leaving town. It’s also important to notify your bank that you will be traveling to ensure your credit cards don’t get flagged and shut off.
8. Let There Be Light
Set your home’s lights on a timer using smart lights, smart plugs or the old-school outlet timers to give the appearance of someone being home at night. Install motion-activated lights on the outside of your home to deter anyone that gets close to your home.
9. Emergency Contact
Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home while you are gone. Write down any emergency contacts and alarm codes and give it to them before you leave. If you’re going to be gone for a long time, you may want to consider hiring a house sitter.
Prepare for Your Return
10. Take Out the Trash
Before you pull out of the driveway, take a few minutes to walk through your house and empty all the trash cans. Leaving trash cans full, especially the kitchen is an open invitation for awful smells and pests that you’ll have to deal with when you return.
11. Have a Meal Ready
You will want to squeeze every second of your vacation that you can. Stock up on food for the day you return so you aren’t scrambling to find breakfast on before work the next morning.
Now that you know how to prepare your home for vacation – it’s time to sit back, unwind and enjoy your trip! If you come home to the unfortunate situation of water damage, vandalism or anything in between – we can help. Contact our expert crew at ServiceMaster Superior Cleaning & Restoration Services today.