Temperatures are dropping and for many that means that thoughts start to drift to warmer climes. While vacationing on a sunny beach with a cold drink in your hand, the last thing you'll want to be worrying about is the home you left behind. Luckily for you, we've created this handy guide to ensuring your home will be safely waiting in much the same condition you left it in on your return.
Here are a few tips on how to protect your Austin home while on vacation.
Protect Your Electronics
Believe it or not, many of the electronics in your home will continue to draw power, even when powered off. The best solution to avoid racking up your utility bill unnecessarily is to simply unplug those appliances.
For electronics that can't be unplugged, avoid damaging those appliances and even your home as a whole by ensuring they are plugged in to a power bar/surge protector. This will prevent any damage affecting your property while you're away.
Make Your Home Look Lived In
The whole idea is maintain the illusion of normalcy while you're out of town. As much as possible, you want to make it seem like it's business as usual at your place. There a couple ways to do this. You could set up timers on interior as well as exterior lights to make them turn on and off at certain times of the day, as if you were home.
Of course, having a house sitter is the best option, but if this isn't possible, having a friend or neighbor drop by is a great way to go. They can check on your place periodically, and simply having some one come in and out of the house is a great burglary deterrent.
Also, there is no greater bulletin board to the fact you're away than a big pile of mail on your doorstep. If you are unable to temporarily stop incoming mail, a neighbor or friend could clear these items from your stoop while checking up on your place.
Safe & Secure
Especially in the case of extended absences, it's imperative to take some added steps to ensure that your home is left in as much the same shape you left it in on your return. While your instinct may be to turn off your heat completely, you may want to consider keeping it on at a lower than normal setting, if you are predicting cold temperatures. This will ensure none of your pipes freeze over in your absence. For areas of your house that aren't otherwise insulated like crawl spaces or attics, make sure those pipes are well insulated.
The following items may seem obvious, but in your excitement to get going on your vacation, they can easily be overlooked.
Be sure, to bring in any house keys left outside for convenience. While never advisable, keeping a key outside is just as convenient for would-be burglars as it is for home owners. Also, make sure you lock the garage.
In your excitement, the impulse to spill too many details can be almost intolerable. But, many would-be burglars use social media as a tool to scope out potential targets. Do your best to keep details about your whereabouts a mystery on social media. In addition to making announcements at home before departing, this also includes checking in to far-off places or automatic location announcements courtesy of your mobile device's GPS when making regular updates.