Checklist: Home Safety Before Vacations

If you were going to leave your house for more than three days, then this checklist was made for you. This list aims to help you keep track of all the basic preventive measures and things you should take care of before leaving. We all know that accidents happen every day, make sure they don’t happen to your home while you’re gone and that your home is safe from power surges and broken pipes before you leave it, in addition to ensuring its safety from potential burglars and home invaders:

A house sitter can prove very helpful in taking care of the house and performing many of the tasks explained below, in addition to playing one of the most important roles; deterring burglars away by just simply being in the house. They can also double as a pet sitter, if you happen to have pets, thus saving you from paying those expensive kennel fees.

Request your local US Postal Service to hold your mail until you come back, so it doesn't accumulate in your mailbox and let potential burglars that you are actually away from home.

Stop your newspaper delivery for the same reason mentioned in the previous point. Also, ask a neighbor you trust to check for you every now and then and to pay attention to adverts left at the front door and/ or the driveway.

The last thing you want is having your home looking neglected and not lived in. arrange for someone to take care of your lawn and trim the trees while you are away to avoid that.

Disconnect your most used appliances, such as the computer, coffeemaker, TV, and chargers and unplug all appliances susceptible to lightning and power surges.

If you will be away for more than a week, it is best to throw away or give away all perishable foods like produce. You can keep other foods like butter, eggs, and cheese.

Take out your recycling and trash, and empty all waste bins around the house.

Go around your house locking and making sure every window and door is locked 

Tell your neighbor that you won’t be home and inform of the people they should expect to see on your property while you're away, like your house sitter and your gardener.

Give your neighbor a way to contact you in cases of emergency.

One way of making your house look lived in is to set timers on lights so they turn on and then off again at certain times.

Let your alarm company know that you will be gone for an extended period of time and make sure to give them your updated contact information for cases of emergency. 

Do not leave valuable items in plain sight. If the worst-case scenario does take place, at least your valuables will be hidden in a safe place.

For summer vacation, add four degrees to the normal home temperature you set for your house (i.e. if you usually set it to 73, set it to 77 degrees). For winter vacations, take four degrees off your normal home temperature. 

Do not leave your car out in the open. If someone was were watching your house, they would notice that it’s not moving. Also, it’s safer for the car itself to be hidden away.

Burglars hate the light. Use that to your advantage.

Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine, and all sinks and make sure your smoke detectors are working properly

Burglars know where most people hide their spare keys. Remove any keys you hide outdoors. 

This is the most important point. Do not forget to arm your home security system if you own one. If you don’t, then make sure you get one installed before you leave. Check below for the best security companies in your area. Moreover, if you have an interactive monitoring system, you will be notified in case there was an alert, which will allow you to act instantly and access the system remotely at any time.

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