5 Things to Do Before Leaving Your Home Unattended
Few things are more frustrating than returning home in the middle of the night from a long vacation only to find surprises waiting. By keeping a few things in mind, it can be a lot easier to come back to a home just as you left it. While the basic things like turning off the main water supply, unplugging electronics, and stopping the mail service is commonly recommended, they’re worth repeating. Leaks and fires happen and there’s no sense in letting every passerby know you’re not around with a full mailbox. Before heading out on your next adventure away from home, also consider these five things to do before leaving your home unattended.
Put Timers on Lights
Burglars are criminals that typically prefer to avoid risks and remain unnoticed. When a light inside a house turns on at night and off during the day, it suggests that someone is home which is a risk to be avoided. Law enforcement and reformed criminals will tell you that appearance is a substantial part of how thieves choose their targets.
Tell Friends & Neighbors About Your Plans
A friendly neighbor can be far more helpful than the occasional cup of sugar or couple eggs. Get to know your neighbors and let them know when you’ll be away from your home. It’s also a good idea to leave your contact information with a trusted neighbor so you can be alerted to anything that may happen while you’re away. What’s more, a friendly neighbor is great deterrent to prowlers.
Don’t Leave Hidden Keys Behind
While the key hidden under the mat has become cliché, remember that hiding a key outside your home just isn’t a good idea no matter where it is. Forgetting keys happens to the best of us, but all it takes is for the wrong person to see you get the key or have some time, like while you’re away, to look around. New electronic key pads with codes are a great alternative to the hidden key, or you could leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor.
Check Your Sump Pump
Frankly, it’s just a good idea to turn off the main water supply to your home when you’re going to be away. From frozen pipes to broken valves, leaks happen, but don’t forget about the weather as well. A good storm and broken sump pump is a prime recipe for returning home to a flooded basement. Checking your sump pump regularly is as easy as dumping a bucket of water in the hole and seeing what happens.
Don’t Turn Off Heat or Air Conditioning
This may seem to go against what you’ve heard about not letting things run while you’re away, and you should certainly adjust the thermostat for your time away. If you’re away in the summer, set the thermostat to about 85. This way the house will not get too hot which can actually damage wood floors and cabinet finishes. Similarly, if you’re away in the winter, leave the heat set at a lower temperature to keep the house from freezing which could damage pipes and more.