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When you’re getting ready to go out of town, it’s important to prepare your house to keep it secure and reduce the risk of a break-in while it’s unoccupied. Even though you may be busy packing, set aside some time to take some precautions around the house. If you want to have peace of mind while you’re away on a trip, there are a few necessary steps to take to prepare your home before vacation.

1. Use Automated Lights to Prepare Your Home Before Vacation

Automated lights help by making your house look occupied rather than vacant while you’re on vacation. You can purchase a device that turns the lights on at different times of the night to prevent an intruder from realizing that no one is home. You can also set the radio or television to an automated timer during the daytime to help your home look occupied.

2. Take Plumbing and Electrical Precautions

There are many ways to prep your home’s plumbing and electrical components to prevent a disaster and prepare your home before vacation. Test the smoke detectors to ensure that they’re working correctly and unplug any lights, appliances, or devices that will not be in use until you return. Setting your thermostat to a moderate temperature that is close to the outside temps will help you conserve energy. Turn off water valves to the dishwasher and the washing machine.

3. Park a Car in the Driveway

Make it a point to leave a car parked in the driveway to make it look like someone is present to prepare your home before vacation. Burglars are less likely to target residential properties where vehicles are present. You can also ask a neighbor to occasionally park in your driveway throughout the week.

You’ll also want to contact your local post office and request to have your mail held during your vacation to prevent it from piling up, which can tip off intruders.

4. Use Exterior Lighting

Exterior lighting keeps areas bright so intruders are less likely to hide in the shadows and plan a break-in. Motion-sensor flood lights are incredibly useful in illuminating specific areas of the property. Burglars are prone to fleeing the moment that lights turn on when motion is detected, which can also make them easy to spot by neighbors. Adding lights to walkways in the yard and leaving the porch light on can also increase your home’s security.

5. Clean Out the Fridge

It’s always good to clean out the fridge to prevent food from spoiling while you’re way. Discard all ingredients, leftovers, and food items that are expiring soon. It’s also important to take the trash out and run the garbage disposal with vinegar and water.

6. Prepare Your Pets

If you plan to leave your pets behind when heading off on vacation, you’ll need to stock up enough food and water to ensure that they have what they need each day. Consider asking a family member or friend to check on their well-being and take them on walks while you’re away. Provide them with a few new toys that they can enjoy and write out instructions to their caregiver on for their medications or vitamins. Some pets may need more attention than just a few visits a day. Consider hiring someone to stay at your home, or drop them off at a vet or boarding kennel.

Preparing your home for vacation is necessary to avoid any hassles or break-ins. By taking the right steps, you will have peace of mind knowing that your property is safe and secure.

Outlook Home Inspections serves the Greater Charlotte area, Western North Carolina, and Upstate South Carolina with home inspection services for home buyers, sellers, and homeowners. Contact us to book your appointment.