Away for the Holidays? Here’s How to Keep Your Home (and Plumbing) Secure

Colder weather and the holidays might mean you’re planning to travel. Whether you’ll be going out of town to visit friends and loved ones or simply taking off in search of warmer weather and some relaxation, there are some things to do to ensure your arrival home won’t be met with unexpected issues. We’ve put together a handy list of items to help you prepare your home for vacation. From pipes to security, this list will help make sure you can vacation and return with peace-of-mind.

Items to Prepare Your Home For Vacation

  • Turn down the furnace – Turn the temperature down to 50 degrees. This will keep your pipes from bursting and won’t drive up an unnecessary utility bill. If you’re leaving sensitive house plants or pets you may need to adjust for a higher setting.
  • Turn off the water supply – Turn off your water and then open all faucets to ensure they’ve been emptied. Leave one faucet open and on the lowest setting so any excess water and air can be released.
  • Clean – Don’t leave dishes in the sink and take out trash. Consider it a welcome home gift to yourself.
  • Empty the Refrigerator and Freezer – Don’t leave perishable items in the fridge. DO put a fresh box of baking soda inside to keep any stale or unpleasant smells away. Empty the freezer, in case of a power outage.
  • Clean out the sink traps and garbage disposal – This will help keep unpleasant smells from greeting you when you return.
  • Give a friend a key – Whether you have a low-maintenance home and simply need someone to check in from time to time, or if you need someone to feed the fish, water the plants and collect the mail, someone should have a key and your alarm code.
  • Contact the Police – Let your local police department know you’ll be out of town. Some departments include drive-bys of residents’ homes who’ve let them know they’re on vacation.
  • Stop your mail and newspaper – Nothing screams “we’re away” like a stack of mail or newspapers at your door.
  • Leave a light on or put lights on a timer – A closed up and dark house is a strong indicator that no one is home. Likewise, a house with many lights on for days or weeks on end is sure to alert those who would notice that you’re away. A timer is a good solution. If you can’t put your lights on a timer, choose one or two lights to keep on.
  • Unplug unnecessary appliances – The toaster, the TV, and other appliances should be unplugged to ensure they aren’t a fire risk and also to keep them from drawing unneeded electricity.
  • Don’t post your travel plans – Social media is an important tool and we love to let people know what we’re doing. But posting the dates you’ll be away can be a big tip off to those looking for empty and unguarded homes. Keep your posts private or wait until you’re back to create your online photo album.

Have a great vacation! If you need help with any items or have questions about pipes, plumbing, and appliances before you leave, Fletcher’s Plumbing & Contracting, Inc is here to take care of it for you.

Call us at (530) 673-2489.