Last updated on February 19th, 2019
Your home is your castle, and you should protect it as vehemently as you would your family and the valuables you keep there. We’re giving you a quick checklist to help prepare your home for your vacation – so you can spend what should be a relaxing and enjoyable time not worrying about them.
Avoid the Appearance of an Empty Home
Keep a regular routine for your home, even when you are not there.
- Reroute mail to a post office box or have a neighbor pick it up, and stop newspaper deliveries
- Park your vehicles in the garage
- Invite a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway
- Use timers or your home automation system to automatically turn the lighting in key rooms on and off
- Motion-activated sensors on outdoor lighting surrounding the house is a great idea
- Schedule continuing maintenance to your lawn and garden
- Avoid an answering machine message declaring that you are out of town
Unplug, Shut Down, or Adjust
Any device or utility not being used to maintain the appearance of an inhabited home should be unplugged and shutdown to avoid utility costs and unattended malfunctions alike.
- Small appliances and electronic devices should be shut off and unplugged
- Modern water heaters have a vacation mode
- Turn off all of the water valves and close the circuits to any outlets that will not be used for home security
- The thermostat should be set according to any plants, pets, or temperamental materials that may be in your home
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked for battery life and functionality
Utilize smartphone technology and hidden cameras to check in on your home from time to time. You can also install technology that allows you to turn features of your home on and off remotely. Learn more about Toll Brothers’ home automation partner, Control 4, here: Control4.com.
- A wireless security system has a great advantage over wired systems. Check with Westminster Security, a Toll Brothers subsidiary, for more information: WestminsterSecurity.com
- Your security company should be notified with the exact dates that your home will be vacated
- It is important to notify your credit card company anytime you travel
- Tell your trusted neighbors your vacation plans, and leave them with emergency contact info
- Engage manual locks for electric garage doors, and double-check every window and entrance
Return to a Clean Home
Making sure your home is clean and germ free before heading out on vacation will help you avoid germs and foul odors upon your return.
- Schedule a deep clean service close to your departure date
- Make sure the garbage disposal has been emptied and cleaned
- Empty the refrigerator of any perishables that will spoil before your return
- Make sure that all of the trash has been taken out
Most of the items on this list are common sense, but they are easy to overlook. Luckily, as technology grows so do the options for protecting your home while you’re on vacation.
For more information on Toll Brothers and communities in your area, visit TollBrothers.com.