If you’re heading south to avoid the chilly conditions or are looking forward to a more tropical celebration this winter, a little preparation can go a long way. While you’re getting your dose of vitamin D, soaking up some rays in Kona, your home is susceptible to water damage, heating or electrical system malfunctions, and other possible threats to your property. Before you take off and leave your home to brave the winter unattended, follow these steps to ensure your home is safe and sound while you are away.
Your home should look like someone is there. Forward your mail, stop newspaper delivery and ask a friend or neighbor to collect items that may be left at your door.
High & Dry
Appliances can cause expensive water damage especially if no one is home to discover the problem. Shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers to avoid any leaks or broken hoses while you are gone.
Take a vacation from Facebook
Do not post your vacation or travel plans on social media sites as potential thieves can then learn your house is vacant.
Ban the pest guests
Bats, birds and squirrels are known to get inside through the fireplace flue. To help prevent against this, consider installing chimney guard screen caps.
Warm the bench
The best defense against freezing pipes is to keep the furnace running and the home warm. Leave the heat higher than 55 degrees to ensure water piping doesn’t drop below freezing.
Secure external doors and windows with deadbolt locks, security-type hinges and sturdy doorframes that cannot be spread apart. Install slide locks or other equivalent security locks on sliding glass doors or French doors.