It's vacation season! Did you know that the same hazards that exist when you are at home, like burglary and fire, are just as common as when you are away? A window inadvertently left unlocked or an appliance with a frayed cord can result in huge financial and emotional losses for your family. Here are some tips to help you and your home to be ready for your vacation.
- Let a trusted neighbor know you will be away; have them keep an eye on your home and leave your vacation address and cell phone number with them so you can be reached in case of an emergency.
- Unplug televisions, computers and appliances that are susceptible to lightning and power surges.
- Clean the refrigerator of all perishable foods and take out the garbage.
- Lock all windows and doors.
- Arrange to have your lawn mowed while you're away. Ask a neighbor to set out your trash on collection day and then retrieve empty cans and recycling bins the same day.
- Never leave your house key hidden outside your home.
- Suspend newspaper deliveries and mail deliveries while you are gone.
- Program lights, TV and radio on a timer system to follow your regular routine.
- Forward land line calls to your cell phone.
- Lock gates to the back yard.
- Place a dowel the width of the door in the track for all sliding glass doors if you don't have track locks.
- Turn the water off to the washing machine. Many homeowners have arrived home from a vacation to find that their washing machine hose has burst and it's not pretty!
- Advise your alarm company and local police if you will be gone for an extended vacation.
- Check your insurance policy and make sure it is up to date. If the worst happens, you don't want to wonder if it's going to cover your losses.
- Store jewelry and valuable papers in a safe deposit box.
- Hockable valuables like electronic equipment and computers should not be visible from uncovered windows. Thieves think in terms of risk to benefit ratios just like any business person. If they can't see something that they can easily convert to cash, they may move on to the next prospect.
Now, go and have a GREAT vacation !