School is out and travel season is here! While you’ll be relaxing on your vacation, the last thing you want to do is worry about the safety and security of your home. I’ve gathered a few safety tips that I want to share with you today. These tips will not only keep your home safe and protected, but also save you money!
Home safety and security tips:
- Stop the mail! Mail accumulating in the box is a dead giveaway. Go to the Post Office and fill out one of the yellow 5×8 cards that will instruct them to hold your mail-you may also do this online. You can specify when they should stop delivery, when they should resume, and you can even have them deliver all of the mail they’ve held so that you don’t even have to go to the Post Office to pick it up.
- Lights but no action. Use light timers to mimic your movements around the house both morning and night. Don’t neglect the kitchen (you don’t cook breakfast or dinner in the dark!) or your bedroom (you don’t dress in the dark, either). If there’s no lamp in those rooms to put a timer on, use a desk lamp or table lamp from another room. Avoid setting the timers to go on and off on the hour – set them more randomly.
- Adjust your window shades and blinds so that the light from your timered lamps gets out, but so that observers can’t see in. Be subtle. You want it to look obvious that you’re home, but you want it to be very difficult for anyone to verify that.
- Make the yard look like you’re home. Mow the grass before you leave, pick up around the place, etc. As much as possible make it look like your there and working to make your house look presentable.
- Don’t tell anybody except a very trusted few that you’re going to be out of town, and one or several of your trusted few should have your cell phone number and contact info for your home insurance agent. Do not advertise your movements on any social media sites.
Money/energy saving tips:
- Unplug almost everything – microwave ovens, coffee drippers, stereo/TV electronics, computer, clothes washer, etc. Almost everything electronic has a keep-warm mode that provides instant-on convenience. But they’re little vampires, too, and that feature, while convenient, continuously increases your electrical bill. You don’t need that convenience when you’re not home, so unplug all that stuff. Doing this also reduces your risk of fire while you’re gone, and is the very best defense against electrical spikes and lightning strikes associated with springtime storms.
- If you are going to be gone longer than a week, consider turning off your water heater. It’s an easy thing to do – just use the appropriate breaker in the circuit breaker box. It might mean you don’t get to shower immediately upon your return, but it will save you money.
- Adjust your thermostats. The water heater and your environmental controls are your greatest consumers of energy. When I was gone in Nevada I set my thermostats for 50 degrees. The house came back to normal temperature quite rapidly when I returned. While using these methods, one of my friend’s total utility bill for one month was less than $90! And they were gone for two weeks of that month! We hope the above tips help put your mind at ease for your next trip so that you can kick back and enjoy accordingly. Happy Travels!
This Week’s Closings, Congratulations!
Mr. and Mrs. Phil Ridinger
This Week’s New Listings For Sale:
24952 Southern Hertiage Lane $225,000