Keep your house safe during vacation

Just one more day. School is almost over for kids in town.  The end of school means the beginning of the travel season.

If you will go on vacation and leave your home unattended for any length of time, make sure that you take some of the following steps to keep your home safe from burglaries and to prevent any emergencies from occurring while you are on extended vacation.

  • Let your neighbors and friends know and leave your contact info with them.
  • Have a friend or neighbor go in your home once in a while to make sure everything is operating properly.
  • Have a neighbor park their car in your driveway for a few hours a day so it looks like someone is home.
  • Ask someone to pick up your mail or have the post office hold your mail.
  • Let the police know and they will keep an eye on your house. The Woodbury Police Department offers vacation check program to watch the exterior of your home when you will be gone for more than three days.
  • Stop newspaper delivery or have someone pick it up for you.
  • Leave your blinds and shutter partially open…closed blinds indicate an empty house.
  • Turn off your water at the main valve where the water supply enters your house.
  • Close and lock all window and doors.

You can save a significant amount of money by practicing a few simple energy saving tips to keep the electricity usage down while on vacation:

Heating and Cooling

Set your thermostat to 90F or turned off completely in summer.

It is a little more tricky in winter. The thermostat should be set around 55F to keep appliances and water pipes from freezing and bursting. The worst way to end a vacation is to come home to a flooded basement.

Water Heater

Turn the dial on your gas water heater thermostat to its lowest setting, which may read “vacation” or “pilot.” If you have an electric water heater, flip the circuit breaker off when you leave town and turn it on when you return. If your gas water heater doesn’t have a vacation setting, set the thermostat as low as it goes without turning it off.

If you go on a winter vacation, you should leave the water heater on at the lowest possible (or “vacation” setting) to keep the water from freezing in the lines and tank.

Electronics and Appliances

Walk around the home and unplug every unnecessary appliance and electronic, including the television, computer, microwave, digital clocks, etc. This not only saves energy, but also eliminates a possible fire hazard if there would be a power surge while no one is home.

Automatic Lights

Put a light on an automatic timer to provide an illusion that you’re home.

Blinds and Curtains

Use blinds and closed curtains to keep heat from coming in during the summer and letting heat out during the winter.

Refrigerators

A refrigerator is usually one of the biggest energy-wasters while you’re on vacation. If you’ll be gone for a few weeks, empty out the food, clean it thoroughly, and unplug it. If you keep the fridge running, it is a good idea to get rid of any leftovers, raw food, and other perishables.

By practicing these tips and tricks, it will not only save you money, but also stress and troubles while away from home and when you come home.

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