Summer is synonymous with vacation.  Travel, be it for a weekend or a month often means vacancy at home.  Having a trusted neighbor or family friend periodically check on the home can also be helpful in preventing any problems. Don’t leave your home unprotected.  Here are a few safety tips to be sure your home is ready for your vacation too.

Keep it Looking Occupied – An empty house is an invitation for burglars.  To avoid leaving your house looking empty;

  • Park your car inside the garage – it’s even a great idea to pack the car in the garage.  Nothing says vacant like packing luggage in the driveway for all to see.
  • Stop the newspaper and mail (or ask a neighbor to pick them up).
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight.
  • Put at least one light on a timer.
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed.

Plumbing & Electrical Precautions – beyond the expense factor for utilities, not protecting your appliances could also leave to damage and unexpected costs.

  • 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, pets and furniture.
  • Electronics should be plugged into a surge protector.
  • Install and test a battery backup on the Sump Pump if you have one.

General Preparation Tips – Don’t forget the simple items before you leave.

  • 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.

Lastly, don’t rush.  Enjoy your time away and make the most of the memories you’ll create!