Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Few Ideas in Preparing Your Home for Vacation

The summer season, sadly is drawing to a close, but there are still many who are trying to squeeze vacations in before the season changes and we start preparing for kids going back to school, and settling into fall.  As one of those who is about to take a few days off to refresh and re-energize, I started to prepare for what I needed to do before I leave.  

However as I started getting ready for this time away, I realized there are many things that I still needed to do prior to leaving.  Each day we all prepare somehow.  We prepare in our daily routines of waking up, getting ready for work, the routes we take in getting there, and even what we will eat for lunch.     In the same way there are many things to prepare for as one leaves for vacation.  I thought it may be helpful to share a few things before your next trip.  

Home Preparedness Instructions:

    • 1
      Inform your neighbors of the exact dates you will be gone on vacation. Ask them to watch for suspicious activity around your home.
    • 2
      Leave a key to your front door and emergency numbers for your vacation destination with a trusted neighbor or friend who is willing to watch your home and enter if needed.
    • 3
      If you will be gone more than two to three days, make arrangements to have your newspaper and mail deliveries stopped or picked up by a trusted neighbor or friend.
    • 4
      Set automatic timers for various lights inside and outside the house. Set them for your TV and radio as well. This will create the illusion someone is home.
    • 5
      Keep the air conditioner or heater on, but adjust the thermostat so that it saves energy by not running as often. Cold weather requires the heater to be set at a lower degree. Hot weather requires the air conditioning to be set a higher degree.
    • 6
      If you will be gone for longer than one week, remove items from the refrigerator that might spoil. Place these items in an outside garage receptacle. Ask a neighbor to take it out on your specified trash days.
    • 7
      If you will be gone more than five days, make arrangements for someone to cut your grass. This service may only be needed during the spring and summer seasons.
    • 8
      Mute the ringer on the phone so unanswered calls go unnoticed to others. If you have an answering machine, shut off the volume so no one can hear a caller leaving a message.
    • 9
      Lock the garage door. If the door has an automatic opening device, unplug it.
    • 10
      Lock all gates or doors on your property.
    • 11
      To conserve water and prevent flooding, make sure all faucets inside and outside the home are turned off and no water is dripping. If freezing weather is in the forecast, leave the faucets slightly dripping and cabinet doors open to prevent broken pipes. You also can ask someone you trust to turn on the faucets if a freeze is expected.
    • 12
      Place any valuables in a locked safe or safety deposit box.
    • 13
      If possible, leave a car in your driveway, or ask a neighbor to park there on occasion.
    • 14
      Do a final walk-through right before you leave to make sure you haven't missed any of these steps. Make a check list from these steps and check off each item as you walk through your home.


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