Away for the Holidays? Prepare Your Home

If you haven’t already, you've definitely thought about escaping the winter drudge of negative temperatures and plus-size calories. I bet you can see yourself now, flying over the Pacific Ocean to the sandy beaches of Hawaii or taking a trek across the Western Sahara in Africa to see the wild cats in their natural habitat. Whatever your idea of paradise is, when you finally get there the last thing you want to think about is how safe your home is. Luckily, there are a few key things you can do to get your home vacation and winter ready.

Starting with the outside of your home:

  • Make sure all easily removable items are locked away in your garage or shed. This can include ladders or tools, art or pottery and anything that can grow legs while you are away.
  • While you’re at it make sure any garbage or recycling is put away and the bins are not left out on the curb for the entire duration of your trip.
  • Chances are old man winter will visit and leave a nice blanket of snow; ask a neighbour or friend to make sure your walks are maintained. Not only is this a city requirement in many places but when every other home is shovelled but yours it makes it rather obvious that you are not home to any canvasing burglars.
  • Not to be left off the list: LOCK YOUR DOORS AND WINDOWS! All of them. If you can lock the gates on your fence, do that too. No-force entries accounts for roughly 28% of all burglaries that take place, which means the intruders simply had to turn the door handle and walk right in. Why make it easy for them?

Now that the outside is secure, and you are confident no baddies are going to play an opposite version of Kris Kringle, we should make sure the inside of your home is ready too. No one wants to come home to a dirty home that requires work after so much play. Save your self the headache and give the home a final scrub:

  • Clean the fridge out of food that may rot before you return, freezing is always a good option
  • Make sure the dishwasher is unloaded and do not start a new load while you're away
  • Unplug small appliances and lights so they are not using energy for no reason
  • Change your sheets and make your bed – because nothing feels better than a clean bed after your vacation

Technology can be like a knight in shining armour ready to lay its life on the line for your protection, if its working properly. This means:

  •  Checking your smoke alarms and CO2 detectors that they are all in good working order
  • Setting your monitored alarm
  • Turning down the temperature – not so low to freeze your pipes but low enough that you are not taking away extra Mai Thais from your pool time.

At the end of the day you want to be able to relax and not think about what might be happening to your home, so do yourself a favour and be prepared beforehand. By taking the above steps not only will you have a good time away, but you will be even happier when you return to a clean and safe home that’s greeting you with open arms. For extra style points you can always put the Christmas lights on a timer and install some Kevin McCallister type booby traps, just make sure you remember where they are there!

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