The whole idea of a holiday is to relax and enjoy worry-free time with the people you like best. This ideal will be shattered if you spend your downtime worrying about a break-in back home, or whether you left the fridge door open.
This is why it’s a great idea to prepare your house before going away for an extended time. Here is a vacation checklist to keep in mind as holidays approach:
1. Make your home look lived in
This is important from a security point of view. An obviously empty house is an open invitation to criminals. Luckily, there are a number of budget-friendly ways to make your home look lived in while you’re away.
- Ask a neighbour or friend to pick up your mail so it doesn’t build up outside.
- Buy a couple of cheap plug timers, that will turn lamps on and off to make it appear like there is activity in your house.
- Install a motion detector on an outside floodlight.
- If you have a lawn or hedge, ensure they are trimmed and neat. An overgrown lawn is a dead giveaway.
2. Prepare plumbing and electrical appliances
Leaving things running while you are away is an unnecessary expense, plus it can lead to expensive damages should something go wrong in a vacant house. Avoid this by turning off plugs and plumbing before you go:
- Switch off all electrical devices at the wall.
- Turn off the geyser.
- Switch off the water valves for the dishwashers, washing machine and sink.
3. General home prep
Other things you can do before you leave that will ensure you don’t have any worries while you’re away include:
- Lock all your inside and outside doors. Lock garage doors, interleading doors inside the home, pet doors, and windows.
- Phone your insurance company and let them know that you will be out of town and whether that affects your car insurance (if you are driving) or your home contents insurance.
- Check all smoke detectors and alarm sensors to make sure everything is working correctly.
- Leave emergency contact information as well as your dates of departure and return with a neighbour.
- Take out the rubbish.
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