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Tips for Prepping Your Home Before Your Spring Vacation

Category: Personal Insurance

When you embark on a spring vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is whether your home is safe while you are away. Not only do you need to prevent your home from being targeted by thieves, but you also have to take precautions against broken pipes, appliance leaks, severe weather and a variety of other potential problems. I personally returned home from vacation to find a freezer door left open a crack, hundreds of dollars worth of melted, spoiled food, a ruined area rug and a wet and warped hardwood floor.

First tip: make sure your refrigerator and freezer doors are closed tight! And while you are taking that precaution, clean out your refrigerator to make sure you’ve discarded anything that can spoil while you are away.

Some other simple tips to avoid break-ins and mishaps include:

  • Make it appear that someone is at home. Cancel mail and newspapers, set timers on lights and televisions, and leave window blinds in their normal position. Make arrangements for lawn or snow removal service if you are going to be away for an extended period of time.
  • Don’t broadcast your vacation plans. While we all love to share our experiences on social media, wait until you get back to share your photos and announce that you were away from home.
  • Lock up. Make sure all windows and doors are secure, and don’t forget to make sure garages and sheds are locked up tight, as well. Engage your security system if you have one.
  • Prepare your home for severe weather. Secure outdoor furniture, close and lock all shutters if you have them, and unplug appliances that could be damaged by a power surge. If it is still cold where you live, you need to prevent your pipes from freezing while you are away. Exposed pipes must be well insulated. If you will be gone for a long time, consider shutting off the main water supply and draining the water system to keep pipes from freezing and bursting. Keep your thermostat set at no lower than 55 degrees.

You might also want to consider taking care of the following household tasks to make things easier when you return:

  • Wash and put away laundry. You’ll have plenty of laundry from your trip to take care of when you get back. You might as well get your other laundry done before you go.
  • Water your plants and have someone trustworthy water them while you are away.
  • Spray for bugs, especially in spring and summer.
  • Reset the thermostat. Be mindful if the weather forecast for your area while you will be gone and set the thermostat accordingly.
  • Change the sheets. There is nothing better than coming home to your own clean bed after a trip.
  • Tidy the house. Unpacking and getting settled when you return is enough work for anyone. Make it easier on yourself by coming home to a clean house.

Now you’re ready to relax!

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