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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Vacation Prep Means More than Just Packing

11/16/2018 (Permalink)

You’ve spent a lot of time picking out the perfect vacation spot, making travel arrangements and packing just the right things. But your vacation preparation shouldn’t stop there.

Too often people go away and come home to a disaster due to frozen pipes, storm water and sump pump failure, to name a few. But if you take the following simple steps before you leave, you won’t have to worry while you’re away:

Enlist friends or neighbors to help.

An overflowing mailbox or newspapers and packages piling up at your door are dead giveaways that no one is home. One way to avoid that is to place a temporary hold on mail and newspaper delivery before you leave.  If you can’t or don’t want to do that, give a key to a trusted friend or neighbor and ask them to stop by every day or two to retrieve your stuff, as well as to make sure everything looks okay. 

And very important: while they’re checking up on things, make sure your friend checks the condition of your pipes and plumbing – especially if you live in a colder climate and the weather dips below freezing while you’re away. 

Make sure your pipes are protected.

  • First things first – if you live in a colder climate where temperatures can dip below freezing, it’s critical to take precautions to prevent your pipes from freezing by making sure the pipes in your home or building are properly insulated
    Turn off the main water valve before you leave and run the faucet to make sure no water remains in the pipes. 
  • Keep some heat on in your home during your trip.  While it may be tempting to save on heating costs while no one’s there, a little bit of warmth can go a long way towards keeping your pipes happy – especially, if no one will be there to address problems as soon as they occur. 
  • Also if someone is keeping an eye on your home, leave the location of the water main shut-off in case a pipe breaks and instructions to call a plumber or your property management company.

Pull the Plugs.

Electrical storms can cause power surges, which can damage your electrical appliances or worse, ignite a fire in your home.  So before you leave, unplug your computers, TVs, coffee makers, toaster ovens, hair dryers and all other appliances around your home.  In addition to preventing power surges, you’ll also save energy, since many appliances use electricity even when not being used.

Let the right people know. 

It’s a very good idea to let the right people know that you’ll be away.  Many local police departments encourage residents to notify them that they’ll be away on vacation – that way, they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity while you’re gone.  If you live in a managed community or building with roving security patrols, a guardhouse attendant or front desk staff, give them a heads up as well.  But be discreet about whom you tell. 

Don’t share future plans on social media.

It’s natural to be excited about your trip before you leave, but resist the urge to discuss travel plans and dates via social media. Social media posts area easily shared, and even if you use privacy settings, your friends and connections can share your info with others. The same goes for posting your travel photos while you’re still on vacation – that’s a sure tip-off you’re away from home, so hold off on sharing the sights and scenery until you return home.

A winter vacation is all about sharing rewarding experiences and wonderful memories, no matter what you prefer. So before you leave, remember to follow these five guidelines to protect your home while you’re away and extend that vacation feeling just a little bit longer. 

If you should come home to an emergency, remember SERVPRO of Hackensack/Little Ferery is available 24 hours a day to help.

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