Whether you’re jetting off to sunshine and warm sand, an international adventure, or a weekend getaway, before you go there are a few things you can do to protect your home while you’re away!
- Unplug all electronics and appliances: To reduce energy costs while you are traveling (and mitigate any risk of unexpected fires), it is a good idea to unplug all electronics and appliances. This includes your microwave, toaster, televisions, entertainment and gaming systems, computers, etc.
- Clear out your fridge and take out any trash: The last thing anyone wants is to come back home and realize they forgot to clean up before they left! To avoid any odours or unwelcome surprises when you get home, be sure to clear out your fridge and take out any and all trash before heading off on your holidays!
- Adjust your thermostat: While potentially not as necessary for a weekend getaway, this is extra important for longer trips. Depending on when you’re traveling, whether it is summer versus winter, you may want to adjust your thermostat to maintain humidity balance and avoid your home being stuffy when you return. On the other hand, some individuals will opt to leave their thermostats at a comfortable temperature when traveling during colder seasons to ensure a nice warm welcome upon return!
- Close and lock all windows and additional entrances: Ensure that all your windows and entrances are locked and sealed tight. You can choose to close blinds or leave them open, depending on your comfort levels and the items in your home. Be mindful that the more you leave open, the more potential thieves will be able to see inside.
- Water plants: Again, depending on the length of your trip, you may be fine to simply give your plants one last big drink before traveling, or you may consider having someone check on your home while you’re away and look after your plants.
- Set up a pet sitter and/or someone to check on your home: Similar to point five, depending on your situation and whether or not you have pets, you may choose to have someone stay in your home or pop by every day to check on them and provide food and water. In some cases, you may opt to board your pet instead, but having someone stop by your home every other day while you’re away is a good rule of thumb to avoid potential issues.
- Leave a vehicle in your driveway: This is a simple step that can help with deterring potential thieves by implying that there is someone at home.
- Set your home alarm: If you have an alarm installed, be sure to set it to an appropriate level for while you’re away. If you leave your alarm activated, be sure to provide the code to whomever will be checking your home, as well as potentially a neighbour you trust should anything happen in the home. If you don’t have a home alarm, you may consider setting your lights on a timer or utilizing a motion sensor bulb to create the illusion of movement in your home.
- Check your smoke detector: Ensure your smoke detector is working properly before you leave. Turning off your electronics per step 1 and adjusting your thermostat per step 3 will assist with reducing any potential risk of fire damage, but having a working smoke alarm is imperative to alert neighbours for quick action while you are out of your home.
- Leave your emergency contact information with a neighbour: Lastly, we have mentioned neighbours a few times as, depending on your relationship with them, they are important contacts for when you are traveling. If you have someone else stopping by to check your home, it can be a good idea to simply leave that individual’s contact information with a neighbour so that your trusted friend can check out any situations that might arise.
At the end of the day, a few quick checks to your home can save you a headache while you’re trying to enjoy your holidays, and also reduce any issues upon return!