Before traveling, safeguard your home and valuables. Taking a few precautions before you leave town will ensure a happy return home.
Before Going Out of Town
- Create an up-to-date inventory of valuables, such as TVs, jewelry, computers and other large-ticket items. Include detailed descriptions, photographs, makes, models and serial numbers.
- Install automatic-light timers to create the illusion that someone is home. Set the timers to go on and off at logical times of day.
- Activate motion detectors and alarm systems.
- Stop mail and newspaper deliveries.
- Clean out your refrigerator, and donate or give away any food items that will spoil.
- Turn down your thermostat to save on electricity or gas bills.
- Ask a neighbor to tend to the yard and shovel snow.
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Store valuables in a fireproof vault or safe.
- Unplug nonessential devices.
- Keep outdoor electrical cords dry by wrapping connections with tape or plastic.
- Don't leave holiday gifts out where they can be seen through windows.
- Inspect all holiday lights for fraying or damage.
- Make sure all greenery and decorations don't obstruct heating vents or fireplaces to reduce the risk of fire.
- Trim shrubbery and trees. Overgrown shrubs provide the perfect cover for would-be intruders.
- Break down large appliance boxes, and place them in dark trash bags or bins when you take them to the curb. Leaving them out in the open will advertise what's inside your home.