Protect Your Home While Traveling Checklist

You booked your itinerary and packed your suitcase, but before you leave, take the time to properly secure your home and belongings. Home burglaries, water, and fire disasters are not fun to think about but often happen when homeowners are gone. To fully enjoy your trip, plan appropriate home security and maintenance with this checklist.

Turn Off Water Valves to Dishwasher, Sink, and Washing Machine: To prevent the risk of water damage while out of town, locate water valves, and turn them off so that additional water cannot flow into pipes. Do not turn off the water valve to refrigerator or chest freezers.

Unplug Electronics and Appliances:  Always unplug all computers, televisions, and any other accessory that will not be used. This will not only help reduce energy consumption but also protect your precious items in case of an electrical storm and/or fire. DO NOT unplug your refrigerator, automatic timers, sump pump, or any security systems.

Lock Oven Control Panel: This could prevent a fire at your home especially If you have pets staying at home that could jump up and accidentally switch the range on. Once locked, the oven or surface burners cannot burn.

Notify Neighbors or Have Someone Check on Your Home Daily: They can keep tabs on your home to monitor unusual traffic or even respond if a disaster happens at your home.

Adjust Thermostat:  In the Winter, don’t lower the furnace temperature below 55 degrees. In the summer keep the AC unit on, but raise the temperature to 80 degrees. While it’s tempting to shut your heat or AC off to save some money, it’s important to keep them running: Keeping your home warm in the winter prevents pipes from freezing. In the summer running the AC, even at 80 degrees, prevents mold and mildew growth.

Make it Look Like Someone Is at Home:  With social media updates, it is easier than ever for burglars to know if someone is gone from their home. Not only can burglars steal valuable items, but they can also cause water damage by breaking a window allowing precipitation to come in. Here are a few easy ways to make it look like someone is staying at your house while you are gone:

  • Have a neighbor park in your driveway.
  • Stop mail and newspapers from delivery.
  • Look into lawn maintenance: In the winter, have your sidewalk and/or driveway shoveled while you are gone. In the Summer, keep your grass cut.
  • Put a lamp near the window on a timer light.

Sometimes even when you take all the preventative steps, your home may still experience water or fire damage.  Contact ServiceMaster DSI, your Insurance Company’s preferred restoration provider. We use our extensive resources, knowledge, and network to return your home to pre-loss condition as quickly as possible.

Print and download this checklist here.

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