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Vacationing This Summer? 5 Steps to Keep Your Home Safe

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Adobe Stock / Maridav

Before you depart for fun in the sun, take these steps to ensure your house is secure, emergency-free, and ready for your return.

No matter the destination or the duration, planning a vacation never fails to be hectic. Between stocking up on sunscreen and finding a bathing suit that actually fits, preparing your home for a week of solitude might just be the last thing on your mind. But when left unattended for an extended period of time, your abode can be susceptible to fires, theft, and unnecessarily expelled energy. So what can you do to ensure that your home is protected while you’re away? Tommy Webber, owner of the Hudson Valley’s T. Webber, has all the answers. Here are his tips to ensure a safe and happy return home:

sockets
Fotolia/photonewman

1. Unplug appliances

Appliances continue to use energy even when the device is turned off. Unplug all devices including phone chargers, computers, televisions, and coffee pots. This will not only save energy, but it will keep your home safe and prevent damage from lightning strikes and power surges.

thermostat
Fotolia/Christian Delbert

2. Adjust air conditioning

The air conditioning system uses a significant amount of energy. Turn the temperature up 10 degrees higher than it’s usually set, or have a professional install a programmable thermostat that can be adjusted to turn on and cool the home just before returning from vacation.

garbage disposal
Fotolia/bennnn

3. Clean garbage disposal

The waste disposal is notorious for developing unpleasant odors while the house is empty. Flush the garbage disposal out with ½ cup of white vinegar and hot water while the disposal is turned on in order to keep funky smells from spreading.

 water heater for safe home
Fotolia/brizmaker

4. Change the setting on the water heater

There’s no need to heat water for an empty home. Adjust the water heater to vacation mode. If the water heater does not have a vacation mode, turn the temperature down. This will save a significant amount of money on your energy bill.

 lights for safe home
Fotolia/anyanuchoil

5. Put lights on a timer

According to the Insurance Information Institute, majority of burglaries occur in the peak vacation months of July and August. If a home is dark, it is a sure sign that someone is not home. Put a couple of lamps on a timer inside the home. Set these to go on and off at different intervals. This will give the illusion that someone is home and make the home safe and less vulnerable to burglaries.

Related: How to Keep Pests Away From Your Home Garden

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