Protect Your Home While on Vacation
SERVPRO of Bullitt & N. Nelson Counties would like to give you some tips on how to protect your home while on vacation.
Prevent damage from power surges: It would really be bad if you come home and find many of your valuable electronic appliances and items damaged or destroyed due to a power surge. Consider unplugging the computer, TV, stereo and other electronics. Conversely, you could connect such items to a good surge protector. Just make sure that it is something which has a good rating and can withstand a large load of power.
- Be careful what you say: Going on vacation is exciting and we all want to share with others about our upcoming trip. But try not to post about it on Facebook, Twitter, or on the Internet at all. This includes “checking in” to places on Facebook or Foursquare. Someone may see the post and decide to target your home while you’re away.
- Alert your alarm company: If you do happen to have a security system, notify the company that you will be away. This is especially needed if you are going on an extended trip. Of course, it goes almost without saying to make sure that the alarm is set properly before you leave!
- Protect your pipes: Especially if you live in an area where cold weather is a possibility, make sure that your pipes are protected. In vulnerable areas like the attic, basement and crawl spaces, make sure the pipes are well insulated. In such a situation, it is also very important to have a trusted friend, family member or neighbor stop by every so often just to turn on faucets to make extra sure that the pipes do not freeze.
- Turn up or down the thermostat: You do not want to turn the thermostat off completely. In the winter, about 55 degrees seems to be the cut off point and 80 degrees is a good setting during the summer.
- Water heater: Almost no one remembers to turn down the temperature on their water heater. This can be an excellent way to save electricity as well.
- Lock everything: This is a no-brainer, but one that people often forget. Many homes are left unlocked at all hours of the day. You’re not protecting your home if you’re not locking the doors. Burglars look at an unlocked door as an invitation to enter and take what they want. Remember to lock all doors, windows, and your garage.
- Secure valuables: Never leave anything of value out in plain sight. If you have not already done so, now may be a good time to consider placing any jewelry, extra cash or other valuables in a safe deposit box or even a secure hidden safe within the house. Nothing should ever be visible from any window.
- Lock and secure the garage: Secure the door and any other entrances to the garage. Do this even if there is no way to enter the house from the garage (if there is an entrance to the house, then this step is even more important). There have been numerous robberies where the thieves simply grabbed what they could from the garage and then took off.
- Outside spare keys: Do not leave any spare keys outside the house. All burglars know the trick of keeping a spare key under the welcome mat. Actually, if you are going away for more than a day or two, you would be well served to pick up any key that you have hidden in an outside ‘??safe’? spot. Consider leaving a spare key with the same trusted friend, neighbor or family member (possibly all three) who is going to be regularly checking on things.
- Remember your mail and packages: A stuffed mailbox, newspapers on the lawn, and packages at the doorstep are other ways to tell a burglar, “Hey there! Come on in, I’m not home so take what you’d like!” Ask a neighbor to retrieve your mail, newspapers, and packages and hold them for you until you arrive home. Alternatively, if someone is already house sitting for you, ask them to do this for you as well. If you can’t find anyone to collect your mail for you, ask the post office and package delivery services to hold your packages until you are back home. Below are the links to FedEx, UPS and USPS.FedEx – Request a Vacation Hold
UPS – Place a Vacation Hold
USPS – Hold Mail Service