Keep Your Home Safe While Travelling This Winter
With travel restrictions lifting and people going on vacations this holiday season, we have developed a checklist to keep your house safe while out of town. You can read a more specific article on How To Winterize Your Pipes if you are looking for more detailed plumbing tips.
Here are 7 ways to keep your house safe while traveling:
1. Ask someone to watch your house or do periodic check-ins.
If you are leaving for a shorter amount of time, ask a close friend or family member to check in on your house as often as needed. Check-ins will prevent thieves from thinking no one is coming home. Your house watcher can make sure no one has broken in, all appliances are fine, and no leaks have come up. They can also collect any mail and packages that come to your door.
2. Unplug everything non-essential.
Unplugging electronics is essential to prevent a fire from starting or a power surge from damaging electronics like TVs, computers, or anything expensive to replace. Surge protectors are a great way to save anything you need to leave plugged in.
3. Empty your fridge.
Before you head away, empty any perishable foods that will go bad and leave your fridge with a rotten smell. If the power happens to go out, you don’t want that smell to travel through your home.
4. Set your heat to a safe temperature.
When you travel, it is essential to set your thermostat at a reasonable temperature. You don’t want it to be too cold, where water in the pipes could freeze, or too warm when you are racking up your heating bill. A safe temperature is 55℉ to 60℉ if you have pipes in exterior walls or 50℉ to 55℉ with interior running pipes.
5. Hire a plow company if you live in a colder temperature.
To prevent an ice-covered driveway or a mountain of snow to shovel, hire a company or ask a friend to plow your driveway while away. They can also help by throwing salt on your driveway and walkway.
6. Put ice cubes in a cup and stick it in your freezer.
Ensure your power hasn’t gone out and spoiled your food by putting a few ice cubes in a cup into your freezer. If you come back and the cubes have melted at all, you will know roughly how long your power was out for.
7. Turn off the water supply.
If you are leaving your house for more than a couple of days, turning off the main water supply is vital. Read more about why this is important here.
Keeping your home safe by preventing thieves, water leaks, power surges, fires, and snowfall is essential to enjoying your vacation this winter.