Its that time of year again to celebrate the holiday season. Some of us stay put and others spend time away with family and friends. Whether you stick around or head out here are a few suggestions to keep your home safe and sound while you are out.
If you are headed out of town, don't forget that furnace. There isn't a reason to keep it pumped up to 75 if no one is home. Keep in mind, that turning down the heat below 63 could cause the pipes to freeze and burst. No one wants to return to a watery mess, especially if they could be stuck with the repair bill as well as the replacement costs.
This is an appliance that most people don't think about regularly. When you are headed out of town, turn it down to a lower setting (some have a "vacation" setting) to keep the water from freezing in the lines of the tank. Just remember, when you get home you'll need to turn it back up and it does take a little while to re-heat the water in the tank.
If you're not going to be there, does it really need to be plugged in. Don't just think about the big items (TVs, lamps, etc.) But the little things can suck up power as well (razors, toasters, cell phone chargers)
Automatic Lights & timers:
You never want your home to look vacant, even if just for a little while. Setting a timer for an automatic light is a great way for your home to look "occupied". Automatic timers can cost as little as $10. They can also be used to turn on a radio for some noise to deter burglars. Keep in mind, if you have neighbors or roommates, they may not want to listen to your music all day.
If you are going to be gone for a long time, and your fridge is cleaned out. Unplug it. That appliance is sucking electricity!!! You can also set the fridge to 42 degrees and the freezer to 5. This should keep most refrigerated "un-perishable" items (ketchup, salad dressing, soy sauce, etc.) cold.
Are you in charge of the exterior maintenance at the property. According to the lease do you need to shovel the snow on the walks and driveway. Don't forget to make plans for when the snow flies. Nothing screams "no ones home" like a snowy walk for days without foot prints going to the door. It can also help to avoid fines from the city for not clearing the sidewalks.
If you are going to be gone for more than a day or two. Be sure to contact your local post office and have your mail stopped till you return. Most post offices will hold mail from 3 to 30 days.
And of course, don't forget to let your manager know you are going to be out of town. If there is an emergency, they will be the first call, and will need to be able to contact you!