Going to Disney World or some other wonderful vacation destination? Whether it's for a weekend or several weeks, here are some things to consider before hitting the road:
1. Shut the water off to the house- Plumbing leaks can happen at any time of the day or night. This problem can be even more devastating left unchecked because no one is home to find the problem. ALWAYS shut the water off to the house when leaving for vacation, even if its just for the weekend. Not sure where the main water shut-off valve is? Contact your plumber to help you with this.
2. Put lights on timers- A dark home can be an open invitation to burglars. Putting several lights on portable/programmable timers or having an electrician put front porch and hall lights on permanent timers is a great way to make sure that it looks like someone is home when you are gone.
3. Don't forget your mail and newspaper delivery- An overflowing mailbox or newspapers collecting at the front door are obvious signs that no one is home. Make arrangements with the Post Office to hold your mail and call the newspaper to have them put your home delivery on hold until you return from vacation.
4. Let your neighbor(s) know that you will be gone for vacation- Be sure and tell you neighbor or neighbors that you will be going out of town and for how long. Make sure that they have a cell phone number to reach you at and that you have theirs. Good neighbors will also take in the mail and newspapers while you're gone as well, that would eliminate Step 3.
5. Hire a lawn service to cut the grass while you're gone- Wouldn't it be nice to return home from a vacation to a lawn that has been cut and trimmed? Most lawn service companies will come out and cut the grass short-term if given enough notice. Having someone working in the yard will also give the impression that you're home.
6. An alarm system can give you peace of mind- Alarm systems continue to become less expensive to purchase and install and have more features. In addition to burglary and fire, alarm systems can also provide video surveillance with access to computer/smartphones, water sensors, high water alarms for sump pumps, notification of loss of electricity and even temperature sensors.
7. Put an old broom stick or piece of pipe in the track for the sliding glass door- An old broom stick or piece of plumbing pipe cut to length and placed in the track for the sliding glass door will prevent the door from being opened.
David Heffner is the owner of Heffner Plumbing with 28 years of experience in the plumbing field. He is also an avid writer who likes to share his experiences and knowledge.