....You had better get your home ready.
The holidays are upon us and some lucky souls get to take time off of work and visit family and friends in some far-off place. Wisconsin comes to mind (lol)! The goal is to relax and recharge the batteries. But what can ruin that long anticipated vacation? Finding out that you have a costly home disaster on your hands.
Here is a checklist you can use to protect your home from theft and damage and to ensure a stress-free vacation:
· Make sure that all of your appliances are turned off.
· Clean out the refrigerator and freezer of foods that can go bad (if they can go bad, they will go bad).
· Put the trash in the cans outside of the house. No need to entice critters into your home!
· Lock all of the windows and all of the doors.
· Put a hold on your mail until you return.
· For those few who still receive a daily paper, put a hold on that too. There is nothing worse than newspapers piling up outside of the front door.
· If you are gone for an extended period of time, have somebody mow your lawn. You want your house to have the appearance that somebody is home.
· Ask a friend or neighbor to haul your trash cans to the curb on trash day and then put them away soon after pickup.
· Ask that friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your home. Maybe a friend can stay at the house while you are away which gives the appearance of normalcy. Make sure that your friend or neighbor knows how to reach you in case of an emergency.
· Never leave a spare key outside of the home. Putting a key under the doormat or in the cool looking plastic rock is simply a bad idea.
· If you don’t have a friend or neighbor accessing your house, it’s a good idea to put some lights on timers.
· Be sure to unplug the TV sets, computers, and appliances which may be susceptible to power surges or at the very least, make sure that each unit is connected to a power surge protector.
· If you subscribe to a monitored alarm service, let them know when you will be leaving and coming home. Notifying the local police is a good idea as well so they will be monitoring your house for any unusual activity.
· Store jewelry and valuable items in a safe deposit box or if you don’t have one, at least be creative in where you hide your valuables.
· Arrange for the proper care of your pets. Having a friend stay at your house is a lot less expensive than a doggy hotel and less stressful on your beloved pal.
· Set the thermostat to insure that the home is neither too cold nor too hot. Ideally, you want the home to be safe without using up a lot of energy heating or air-conditioning it.
· If the house is to be vacant (no friends or neighbors coming in), a good idea is to turn off the water at the main valve. Minimizing the chances of water damage to the home will insure that you are stress-free during your time away.