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Securing Your House Before You Leave On Vacation

Everyone looks forward to vacation time and many of us decide to leave our houses and do a little traveling on our time off. Unfortunately, being away from your home for an extended period of time can be an invitation to disaster. Not only could a freak accident like a busted pipe or faulty appliance cause your home to flood, but an empty home is also an easy target for a burglar.

The good news is that with a little bit of preventive planning, you can rest easy during your vacation knowing that your home will remain safe. Many people are familiar with the basics involved with leaving your house unattended. Homeowners know that doors should be locked, windows fastened, pets attended to, and some will even ask a neighbor or friend to keep an eye on the house.

Additional safety measures include the following suggestions. Make sure to review these suggestions now and again so that you don’t forget to put them into action the next time you go away. The first suggestion involves making your house appear occupied. You can do this by arranging plans so that your mail and newspapers do not pile up while you are gone, avoid leaving your garbage can in the street while you are away, keep your porch and other entry ways well lit, and considering leaving some lights or a TV and/or radio on. All of these steps will make your house appear occupied.

Exterior lighting is also important for when you leave your home unattended. Darkness makes it easy for strangers to parade around your property undetected. Consider using motion sensors, timers or photoelectric switches to keep your property illuminated and also create the illusion that someone is home controlling the lights.

Lastly, as mentioned earlier, always lock your doors and windows before leaving. Exterior doors should have a dead bolt lock for extra security. To secure sliding windows you should use keylocks or track-stops. A metal rod or a broomstick in the sliding door track is an inexpensive locking method. Window pins area also helpful.

Alarm systems come in very handy for when you leave town. If you don’t already have a system installed you should look into your options. They bring that extra peace of mind to you even when aren’t leaving your home for an extended period of time. If you do have a system, make sure to activate it before you depart. Furthermore, if your system is not monitored, consider asking a neighbor to contact the authorities if the alarm sounds while you are awhile. Interior motion detectors are another helpful security idea.

Aside from the concerns regarding an intruder, you should also take some preventive measures to ensure that your house does not flood or catch fire while you are away. One of the most effective means of preventing a flood is to turn off the main water source to the home. However, if you have an irrigation system working while you are gone then it might not be a good idea to cut off the water. One safe bet would be to turn off all of the valves at all of the fixtures. This will significantly diminish the prospect of a flood.

Certain systems can be shut off when you leave for vacation and it will safe you money by doing so. Of course it is not wise to shut off your electricity because the refrigerator, alarm system and security lighting will need power while you are away. You can, however, turn off the power to your heating systems and air-conditioning systems. This will save you money and also prevent a potential fire. Consider shutting the gas supply off to the water heater, furnace and oven while you are away too.

Furthermore, it is highly recommended that you unplug your small appliances such as the toaster, mixer, microwave, stereo and television. Most importantly, make sure to disconnect the power to your motorized garage door opener. Thieves love coming in through the garage because many homeowners leave the door leading into the house from garage open.

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