Preparing your home before leaving on vacation

March 2017

Vacations are supposed to be relaxing and worry-free. That's why it's important to secure your house before your trip so you don't have to worry about broken water connections, power surges and burglars.

Make your house look lived-in

An empty house is a welcome invitation to burglars. To avoid making your house look empty:

  • Stop the newspaper and mail (or ask a neighbor to pick them up).
  • Park your car inside the garage.
  • Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway.
  • Put at least one light on a timer.
  • Install a motion-activated sensor on an outdoor floodlight.
  • Make sure your lawn stays trimmed.

Take the necessary plumbing and electric precautions

Not only is running appliances an unnecessary utility expense, it also could lead to costly problems. To avoid the expense and headache of something going wrong with an appliance while you're away:

  • Unplug small appliances and electronic devices.
  • Put the water heater in vacation mode.
  • Turn off water valves to the dishwasher, washing machine and all sinks.
  • Set the thermostat to a temperature that is less comfortable, but still protects your plants, pets and furniture (55 degrees is usually a good temperature).

General home preparation tips

Other tasks you should consider doing before your vacation:

  • Notify your credit card company that you are going out of town.
  • Notify your security company that you are going out of town.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly.
  • Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbor.
  • Run your garbage disposer with a half cup of vinegar and some water.
  • Toss out any food that will go bad before you return from vacation.
  • Take out the kitchen trash, or any other trash that could get smelly.

Thank you Nationwide Insurance for contributing the information contained in this article.

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