It’s that time of the year when many of us are planning trips away from our homes. As we head out on our fun adventures, or to visit family, our homes will be left all alone. Before you leave for your trip, use this handy checklist of things to do to keep your home safe while you’re away. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive presented by Centrica Connected Home. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hold Mail and Deliveries
- It’s easy to have your mail held, and it can make a big difference towards keeping your home from screaming, “I’m empty”. In addition to mail, be sure to arrange for any other deliveries to be held.
Notify Banks / Credit Cards
- Some banks have helpful fraud settings that will lock your account if you start making purchases that don’t fit your standard pattern. Most notably this applies if you’re traveling internationally, notify your bank or credit card if you plan on spending internationally.
Clear Garbage & Equipment Outdoors
- The exterior of your home should looked well cared for and maintained. You also don’t want to have any ladders or equipment laying around that might help a thief get into your home while you’re away.
Rake Leaves / Mow Grass
- Another part of helping your home look lived in is to make sure you’ve recently cleaned up leaves and mowed the grass. If it’s winter, be sure to shovel the pathways.
Program Exterior Lighting
- It’s easy to set your exterior lights to on and leave them on while you’re away. However if you want to make your home look more lived in, I recommend installing a timer switch on your patio lights.
Notify Neighbor or Friend of Departure
- Hopefully you have a close friend or neighbor you can share your travel plans with. You can ask them to drive by your house occasionally to make sure nothing looks out of place. If it’s snowed they can also add some footprints to your door to help keep it looking lived in.
Program Interior Lights on Timers
- Setting your interiors lights on timers can be a great way of helping it look as if people are home. There are a lot of smart devices now that will allow you to program your lights from your phone.
Notify Security System of Contact Info
- If you have a security system in place on your home, be sure to notify them of any vacation plans. You should also notify them of how they can reach you in case of an alarm.
Install Door Sensors &/or Cameras
- For true peace of mind, we love our security cameras. We have one set that looks outside our home and another that shows us the interior. While traveling we’re able to see if things look normal.
Check & Lock Windows & Doors
- Be sure to do a walk-through of all the rooms and double check windows and doors. We’ve occasionally found a window that was opened and not latched back to lock.
- If you don’t have any animals at home that you’re leaving, consider programming your thermostat for a lower/higher temp to save on some electricity.
- Don’t miss doing this or else you risk coming home to a stinky house!
Throw Out Perishable Foods
- Another step that can help prevent a stinky house. You also don’t want to come home to a fruit fly issue if you forgot to get rid of fresh fruit.
- Be sure to allow yourself enough time to wash your dishes before you leave. You don’t want smelly dishes or stuck on food.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances
- Some appliances can actually use a bit of electricity even when they’re not being used. It’s also a good idea to unplug unnecessary appliances in case of any storms or power surges.
Lower Water Heater Temperature
- Another energy-saving idea, if you have your water heater set for hot showers, turning it down a bit might save some energy while you’re gone.
Winterize Pipes (if needed)
- If you live in a freezing weather location, be sure to do what’s needed to winterize pipes while you’re gone. You don’t want to come home and find a busted pipe.
A bonus idea I’ve heard before is to place a frozen cup of water (ice block) in the freezer and place a penny on top of the ice. If you come home and the penny is still on top of the ice then all is good. If it’s sunk, you lost electricity at some point and probably need to throw out your food.
Hope these ideas will help you get your home ready for vacation. It’s always nice to know your home safe while you’re away!