Preparing Your Home for Vacation

It’s that time of the year, planning and taking that family vacation or surf trip. Whether you are leaving for a weekend or a month there are things you should do to help insure your home will be safe while you are away and awaiting your return without any problems.

  • Cancel newspaper
  • Forward or stop mail delivery
  • Find a friend to care for your yard-mow, water, chlorinate the pool, etc.
  • Find a friend to care for the house – water plants, etc.
  • Find a friends to care for pets
  • Give a key to friends who will need to get into the house
  • Put a few lights on timers
  • Put a radio or television on a timer
  • Forward the phone or get an answering machine that allow you to check messages from out of town
  • Leave emergency phone numbers with a neighbor and the friends who are caring for the house and yard
  • Lock away valuables or place in a safety deposit box
  • Take copies of valuable papers such as deeds, wills and insurance with you. Lock up originals.
  • If you may travel across the border take family birth certificates and photo IDs.
  • Turn off or turn down air conditioner
  • Turn off or turn down water heater
  • Turn off water to house
  • Turn off gas to the house…make sure to have the utility company restart when you get home (only if you’ll be gone more than a month or you are leaving during hurricane or tornado season)
  • Empty all garbage and trash cans.
  • Empty refrigerator and freezer of items which will spoil
  • Turn up refrigerator or unplug and secure door to open position if you will be gone for more than a month
  • Put all landscaping sprinklers on battery powdered timers
  • Empty bird bath and water features, they are a great breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Move outdoor furniture, lawn ornaments and toys into the garage if you live in hurricane or tornado country or if there is the chance of a flood.
  • Leave house clean so you won’t have old clutter and dirt to come home to
  • Close damper on fireplace
  • Set out mouse traps and ant traps
  • Make sure toilets are not left running
  • If leaving for more than a month turn off the water to the toilet and flush the toilet. This will reduce bacteria and staining while you are away
  • Make sure dishwasher, washer and dryer are all turned off and the doors left open.
  • Close all blinds and shutters so a prowler can’t see in. You can adjust them so the lights on timers can be seen, leaving the impression someone is at home.
  • Double check that doors and windows are locked

Now, hop in the car or jump on that plane

and have a great trip!

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