SERVPRO® Pro: Holiday Safety Travel Tips
Many of us have spent a significantly larger amount of time than normal at home over the last year and a half. With the holidays fast approaching, perhaps you are going to visit family or friends. When you intend to travel, taking a little extra time to prepare your house for your absence can keep your home safe, increase your peace of mind while you’re away, and help reduce the chances of unexpected problems.
For example, emptying the fridge and pantry of foods that will perish in your absence is a good practice; consider freezing items that could be saved for later. Throw your items away before your weekly trash pick-up, to avoid critters feasting on your refuse. To ensure that you are aware of any thawing of the freezer, place a cup of ice in there. When you return, if the ice is still separate, the food should be fine. If, however, the ice has melted, that indicates that the contents in your freezer thawed and re-froze, which means you should throw away what was in there.
Set your thermostat for your absence. Consider turning off the water at the main line. If you do turn off the water, remember to run the faucets until they are dry, and flush all the toilets and turn off their incoming water at the base of the tank. If you will be gone awhile, it might be a good idea to turn off your hot water heater as well, or set it to vacation mode, to save energy.
Make sure that all exterior windows and doors are locked, including the garage. If you have a hide-a-key, think about moving it inside, or giving it to a trusted neighbor in case of an emergency. If you have a fireplace, close the flue to prevent animals and birds from coming inside from that route.
Aside from ensuring that your home avoids accidental damage in your absence, you want it to appear that you are not gone. Set lights on a timer, ask your neighbors to check on your property, and do not post about being out of town on social media. By following these suggestions, you will be in a good position to enjoy your holiday season!