Home Disaster Prevention: Things to Do Before a Vacation

things to do before vacationWhen you’re heading out on vacation, all set to relax for a few days, a week, or more, the last thing you want to worry about is something happening to your home while you’re gone. While you can’t completely prevent disasters, you can do your best to protect your home during vacation. Here are some of our favorite tips:

Have an Alarm System

Having an alarm system will help you if someone breaks into your home, but if you have a good one with environmental sensors, it will help you in other cases as well. The sensors can detect moisture changes in the air, and some systems even sync with your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to alert emergency services if anything is detected.

Protect Against Extreme Temperature Without Running Up Your Power Bill

If you vacation in the winter, you don’t want your pipes in your home to freeze and burst while you’re away. But you also don’t want to pay the power bill for the heat as if you were home all of this time. The solution? A programmable thermostat set to 4 to 5 degrees below/above your normal setting (not below 55 in the winter). If you go the extra mile and get a smart thermostat, you can check on and adjust your home’s temperature from wherever you vacation.

Shut Off Water Mains or Supply Lines

If you don’t have a sprinkler system that needs to be running, consider shutting the water main off before you go on vacation. This may seem a bit extreme, but many people have come home to flooded homes, ruined memories, and thousands of dollars of damage all due to a flood inside the home.

If you have sprinklers that need to run, think about turning off the supply lines to toilets, sinks, and appliances.

Clean Up and Clear

Be sure that your fridge doesn’t have any food in it that could spoil while you’re away or you might come home to a fridge full of mold and horrible odors. On that same note, don’t leave any trash in trash cans – make sure it’s all emptied.

Even if you aren’t expecting rain while you’re away, clear your gutters and storm drains if you live in an area that does get heavy rain. If the debris blocks rain from flowing through your gutters and drains, it will accumulate and could cause it to seep into your basement or ground floor.

Ask Someone to Check In

If you have a neighbor you can trust, ask them to check in on your home while you’re away. If you don’t have a neighbor, get a friend or a family member. Just getting someone to come into your home every few days while you’re away will help prevent a lot of disasters that could happen inside your home.

Vacation should be a fun and relaxing time that isn’t full of worrying about your home and what condition it will be in when you return. Take the time to prepare it before you leave and have someone check on it while you’re gone, and you will prevent a lot of major disasters.