Quick Vacation Tips for Homeowners and Renters.
Are you headed out for a weekend at the lake? Maybe you are leaving to travel the world for weeks at a time? In any case, we want your home to be safe when you’re away. So homeowners and renters, follow these quick tips to protect your house when you’re on vacation!
What you can do
- Turn off your water. If you don’t want to do it for the entire house, at least consider doing it for your dishwasher, washing machine, and toilets.
- Take pictures. Sure, you’re going to take pictures while on your trip. But also take pictures of things like your passport, ID, prescriptions, and other important documents that you might need in case of an emergency.
- Photocopy your passport and other ID. Even if you have digital pictures of your ID, make a paper copy of these important documents as well. Hotels in certain countries sometimes as you to leave your passport at the front desk. You can give them this copy instead.
- Hold all your mail and newspapers. Possible intruders look for signs that you’re away. When they see a stack of mail or untouched newspapers, they’re more likely to break in.
- Close your curtains. It seems like a simple enough task, but it’s essential if you don’t want people snooping around and checking out your belongings!
- Put timers on your lights. Create the illusion that you’re home every evening. This may scare off any potential burglars.
- Unplug certain appliances. Even if you have turned certain appliances – like your toaster, computer, or hair utensils – off, you should still unplug them. And wise up about chargers! DO NOT leave phone or computer chargers plugged in without an appliance attached. A plugged-in charger left dangling on a carpeted floor is a major fire hazard.
- Think about food, trash, and wet laundry. You don’t want to come home to a moldy science experiment, do you? We didn’t think so. Make sure there’s no wet laundry left in your machine then! Be sure to do the same thing for food that could rot while you’re gone, or untouched trash that could leave a stench. When you leave your house clean, you also protect it from bugs and rodents while you’re away.
- Block pet doors. Racoons, stray cats…you don’t want critters enjoying a vacation of their own! If your pets are staying elsewhere, make sure your pet doors are closed up and inaccessible while you’re away.
What others can do
- Be sure to tell a trusted neighbor that you’ll be out of town. A neighbor will likely be the first person to see if anything suspicious is going on at your home. They can get back to you quickly to resolve any problems.
- Have a close friend or family member check in regularly. Who would you trust giving a spare key to? Ask that person to check in once or twice a week to do more than just water your plants. Your neighbors won’t be able to spot an unforeseen problem inside with electricity or plumbing from the street. You will stay twice as safe if you have an extra pair of eyes inside.
- Inform your bank and credit card company. Few things are as stressful as worrying about money. While you’re on vacation, don’t worry about being strapped for cash because your cards have been denied. Banks and credit companies need to know you’re away and that your card has not been stolen. Send a quick message before you leave so that they don’t panic about activity outside of your hometown.
- Find that spare key. And give it to someone you trust. We know you like to have it under that certain potted plant just in case…but while you’re out of town, keep it safe in a loved one’s pocket instead.
- Share your travel info with someone. Someone needs to know what route you’re driving, what flights you’re taking, and where you’re staying. This could be critical in an emergency.