29 Jun Have a Stress-Free Vacation! Secure Your Home
School’s out for summer and vacation is just around the bend. Your trip is all planned, but what about your plans for keeping your home safe while you’re away?
Not to worry, with all the things you need to remember to make your trip a success, it can be easy to forget the little things – we’ve compiled list to help you get to the beach and have a worry free holiday!
Turn down Your Hot Water Heater
Turning down your water heater while you’re away can help reduce overall costs and energy consumption. Newer units will usually have a “vacation mode” so you can easily adjust your setting. However, if yours doesn’t have this feature, simply adjust the unit to its lowest setting to achieve the same results.
Whatever you do – don’t turn your unit off completely! Restarting it can sometimes require a technician, and can be a hassle.
Pull the Plug on your Electronics
You might not know this, but many of your appliances will continue to draw a small amount of power when they aren’t turned on or in use. If you’re going to be away for an extended period of time, we’d advise that you unplug your appliances, like your TV, computer, or toaster, (not your stove or fridge), to help to curb energy loss and protect these items from getting damaged in power surges.
Turn Off Your AC
If you’re not going to be home, you can turn your AC right off. Remember there are plenty of homes in Quebec that have no AC ever so no damage will be done by turning it off.
Reroute your Mail
Letters, newspapers, and magazines piled up on your front porch or step can easily alert thieves to your absence. If you know you’re going to be out of town long enough to amass a collection of mail, we advise that you arrange with your carriers to have it rerouted or held until you return. This will help to keep your empty home under the radar, and keep you organized – it’s a win-win. Or, if possible, as a neighbor or friend to bring in the mail for you.
Put your Front Lights on a Timer
This next tip may seem counter-productive for those focused on energy consumption and efficiency, but it is a good idea to put your front lights on a timer if you are going to be away for several days. This is another measure to protect your home from being the target of a break-in. If your home stays dark for a prolonged period, it can alert people to your absence. Having your front lights set to turn on for a few hours each evening will provide the illusion that your home is occupied – without wasting too much electricity.
Be Smart about your Social Sharing
Nothing tells the world “I’m on vacation for a week!” like Tweeting or posting publicly on Facebook “I’m on vacation for a week! #Florida #OMGThisBeach #YoureAllJealous”. Social media is a large part of many people’s lives. It’s important to combat your information getting into the wrong hands, by familiarizing yourself with each platform’s privacy settings and ensure that you are only sharing what you want with whom you want. You may also want to consider posting trip posts and pics AFTER you’ve returned home if you have any “followers” that you don’t know personally.
Use the Buddy System
While we do believe that planning and preparation are key components in maintaining your home, there are some things that are simply out of your control. Major storms and power outages can have an impact on your property, and being on the beach means you likely won’t be able to address the damage right away. We encourage homeowners to enlist the help of a friend, family member, or neighbour to check in on their home while they’re away. Should your area experience any extreme weather, it’s valuable to have someone who can either confirm that your home’s systems are functioning normally or assist you in dealing with any issues that have arisen.
We hope that everyone who is travelling this season has a safe and fun trip. Already got away this Spring? March break might be over, but we feel these tips are valuable year-round, so remember them next time you leave your home empty.
From all of us at Mose Home Inspection Services, Have a Safe Trip!
Thanks to Carson Dunlop for the vacation tips.