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Pre-Vacay Care

Before leaving for vacation, it’s crucial to prepare your home to ensure its safety and security while you’re away. Here’s a list of things you should consider doing:

Inside the House:

  • Clean up:
  • Wash dishes, take out the trash, and clean out perishable food from the refrigerator to prevent unpleasant odors and pest infestations.
  • Consider running vinegar through your garbage disposal and washing towels and linens.
  • Security:
  • Lock all doors and windows, including those on upper floors.
  • If you have a security system, make sure it’s armed and notify the security company that you’ll be away.
  • Consider putting indoor lights on timers to give the illusion of occupancy.
  • Appliances and Electronics:
  • Unplug electronics like TVs, computers, and chargers to save energy and reduce the risk of electrical fires.
  • Adjust your thermostat to an energy-saving setting (higher in summer, lower in winter). If you have a smart thermostat, you can often program it to adjust automatically before you return.
  • Utilities:
    • Turn off the water to your washing machine and dishwasher to prevent leaks.
    • Even better would be turn off water to the house.
    • To prevent any leaks from toilets, flush all the toilets.
    • If you’ll be gone for an extended period, consider turning off your water heater.

Outside the House:

  • Mail and deliveries:
  • Put a hold on your mail or ask a trusted neighbor to collect it.
  • If you receive regular deliveries (newspapers, packages), stop them temporarily.
  • Landscaping:
  • Mow the lawn and trim bushes before you leave.
  • Arrange for someone to water plants or lawn if you’ll be gone for an extended time.
  • Vehicles:
  • If you’re leaving your car at home, move it to a less conspicuous location or ask a neighbor to park in your driveway occasionally.
  • Consider disconnecting your car battery to prevent it from draining.

Additional Tips:

  • Inform trusted neighbors: Let them know you’ll be away and ask them to keep an eye on your property.
  • Don’t overshare on social media: Avoid posting about your vacation online until you’re back home.
  • Insurance: Ensure your homeowner’s insurance is up-to-date and covers any potential issues that could arise while you’re away (e.g., theft, water damage).
  • Emergency contact: Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor and provide them with your contact information in case of an emergency.

By taking these precautions, you can relax and enjoy your vacation knowing your home is safe and sound.

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