A checklist for keeping your home safe and sound whilst you are away.
Make Some Calls
- Tell your neighbors/property manager/landlord you are going away.
- Give them your contact information.
- Temporarily stop newspaper or other deliveries (or have a neighbor bring stuff in).
- Have the post office hold your mail till you return.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to bring in packages and move your bins in and out on trash day.
- Contact your security alarm company; let them know you will be away and provide them with your contact info.
Unplug & Reprogram
- Unplug the automatic garage door opener; double check the door is fully closed.
- Unplug electronics and computers.
- Reprogram the heater in the winter to keep heat above 55F to avoid freezing pipes.
- Reprogram the AC in the summer to up to between 81F and 85F.
- Put lights on a timer Put TV or music on a timer.
- Ensure there are fresh batteries in all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors Unplug your landline phone or send all calls to voicemail.
Clean & Clear
- Clean out fridge.
- Check all the toilets are fully flushed.
- Empty the trash; ask neighbors to put out trash on trash day.
- Move valuable furniture and upholstery out of line of direct sun to avoid fading.
- Clear the waste disposal.
- Do all dirty laundry and empty washer and dryer (leave washer door open to avoid mildew).
- Clean the sink and wipe dry.
Pets & Plants
- Water plants; Move all plants to one spot so house sitter/neighbor doesn't have to wander around the house looking for plants).
- For longer trips organize plant/yard care.
- Secure kennel or pet-sitter; leave out instructions, plenty of food/water.
- Remove any hidden keys from their secret spots (under the mat, under the flower pot).
- Leave blinds in their normal positions.
- Park car in driveway.
- Hire a house sitter or have a neighbor/friend drop in at irregular times on a regular basis.
- Double check you have locked all doors and windows, especially in less obvious places like garages and basements.
- Mark all your possessions with your own security mark.
- Check that your insurance is up to date on contents value.
- Compile a list all your possessions using photographs or video.
- Record serial numbers and all other identifying information.
- Check with insurance company to make sure there aren't any rules requiring that someone check in regularly at your home during your absence.
- Keep important computer files backed up and hidden elsewhere.
- Keep your keyholders list up to date.
- No keys/valuables should be visible.
- Lock away all tools and ladders.
- Keep your movements confidential except to those who need to know.
- Do not announce on your voice mail message that you will be away for an extended period of time.
- Make sure to adhere to all parking regulations (e.g., odd/even parking).