Vacation and Home Prep Checklist

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Real Estate

Vacation Home Prep Checklist

You’re on your way out the door on vacation when you hear the news of recent break-ins in your neighborhood. Then you start obsessing about leaving the iron on, or about a water pipe bursting. It’s enough to make you stay home to avoid the stress. But don’t cancel that vacation — there are ways to prevent burglaries and other home-related disasters while you’re away.

Whether you stay or go, boost your home’s protection with these suggestions:

➡  Replace doors with solid-core windowless doors. Install deadbolt locks.

➡  Replace loose window screens, broken latches, and cracked windowpanes. Close and lock all windows.

➡  Trim shrubbery that obscures windows and doors.

➡  Never hide a key outside of your house.

➡  In the summer, turn off the water heater and set your A/C at about 82 degrees to control humidity. For a winter getaway, turn your thermostat down to about 50 degrees.

➡  Clean perishables out the refrigerator and cupboards. Turn off your ice-maker.

➡  Unplug your TV, computer, and other electronics in case of a lightning surge.

➡  Have a neighbor hold a spare key and check on the house periodically — if a water pipe breaks or you left the iron on, they can prevent further damage.

➡  Pay a responsible neighborhood kid to pick up your mail and newspapers, or stop delivery at the post office and with the newspaper.

➡  Ask a neighbor to drag a garbage can in front of your house on trash day and park in your driveway.

➡  Leave automatic sprinkler systems running. Have someone mow your lawn or rake your leaves.

➡  Put timers on lamps near windows so they will turn on and off in the evenings.

➡  Install motion-activated lights outside the house.

➡  Turn the ringer down on all phones.

➡  Don’t announce your absence on your answering machine, and don't put notes on your door, such as “Take deliveries next door.”

➡  Buy a “Beware of Dog” sign even if you don’t own a dog.

➡  Secure storage sheds, attic entrances, and gates.

➡  Call your local police to let them know you’ll be traveling. Some departments send patrols out to your home while you’re away.

➡  If you must park in your driveway, remove garage door openers and keys, and lock the car doors.

➡  Move small valuables to a safe deposit box or safe.

➡  Check with your police department about property identification programs for valuables.

➡  For added peace of mind, prepay bills so you won't have to worry about them while you're away.


Stephanie Knights, Realtor® ABR®, SFR®
Knights Home Group | Coldwell Banker

Direct: 614.815.6782