It’s vacation time! You’ve packed your bags, checked in for your flight and are ready to go on a much-deserved vacation. But before locking the door to “fly away,” there are a few things you should do to ensure your home is safe and sound while you’re laying in the sun or flying down the slopes.
There are few things worse than coming home after a relaxing vacation to find your home flooded with water or infested by uninvited critters. What a way to ruin your good mood, right? Here are a few things you should do before hitting that “Island in the Sun,” to ease your mind and protect your home.
Contact Your Landlord – regardless of whether you rent or own, it’s always a good idea to let someone know you’ll be out of town. Whether it is required in your lease or not, tell your landlord when you’ll be out of town and how they can reach you should something go awry.
Unplug Your Electronics – while there are different opinions on whether electronics use power when they’re not in use, it's still a good idea to unplug them prior to leaving. While it is rare, plugged-in electronics can spark fires, particularly if proper surge protectors are not properly used. At the very least, make sure your electronics (coffee maker!) are turned off before shutting the door.
Turn Off the H2O – water damage is one of the most common issues people face when returning home from vacation. Should something happen to one of the pipes, turning the water off will help prevent flooding and damage within your home. While we’re on the subject of water damage, it's also a good idea to ensure all plumbing leading to the outdoors is property insulated in the winter to ensure frozen pipes don’t cause you a major headache when you return.
Adjust Your Thermostat – this is less about safety and more about money. Why spend money to keep your furniture in the lap of luxury. We promise, your pillows won’t care if they’re too hot or too cold. However, that doesn’t mean you should turn it off completely! In the winter, experts recommend setting your thermostat to 50-55F and 80-90F in the summer. This will help prevent frozen pipes and ensure there is enough air circulation to prevent humidity and the growth of mold – yuck!
Use Baking Soda – baking soda is one of the greatest inventions of all time. Combine it with vinegar it will help freshen drains and unclog pipes. Bacteria causing odors thrive when sinks and toilets are not in use. By pouring a cup of baking soda down your drains and toilet, you’ll prevent that “what is that smell,” reaction when you return.
Clean Out Your Refrigerator – rotting food is one of the greatest sources of smell in your home. If you don’t have time to eat food that will spoil, freeze what can be frozen and clean it out the rest. While you’re doing so, make sure all boxes and dried foods are properly stored to prevent critters from feasting while you’re away.
Check Your Doors and Windows – make sure all your windows and doors are locked. If you have a dog door, make sure you close it off as well.
Leave on a Light – yes, we said turn off all your electronics, but nothing screams “rob me” more than a house that is dark for several days. Using an energy saving bulb in a light visible from the front can help deter those with bad intent.
Now you’re ready to “fly away.” Bon Voyage!