CARING FOR YOUR HOME WHEN YOU’RE AWAY November 22, 2021 | Home Maintenance , Safety | home security Do you leave your home for long periods of time? Whether you’re spending winters in warm weather, travelling for work, or visiting distant friends and family on the regular, it’s easy for your home maintenance to start lagging behind if you’re often away. Here’s what you can do to keep your home safe and looking its best while you’re travelling. Conduct your regular maintenance ahead of time. If you know ahead of time when you’ll be leaving and for how long, there are things you can do ahead of time to prepare your home for your departure. Inside your home you should take out the trash, turn off lights, replace batteries in your detectors, and tidy up each room. Outside, clean your gutters, clean your exhaust vents, trim any plants back from your home, and look for signs of animal intrusion. Check that your locks work properly. Even if you think all of your locks are in working order, it doesn’t hurt to give them a once-over. Check that your doors and windows close properly and stay locked in place. Any locks that stick or seem loose should be replaced. Pay attention to the forecast. It can be difficult to know exactly what the weather is going to do each day. A sunny forecast for the weekend could turn into a two-day downpour. Still, checking the next week’s weather outlook will help you better prepare your home. If there’s the chance for strong storms with hail and high winds, bring any items outside into your garage or storage shed. If you’re leaving in the winter and there’s a call for a snowstorm, check that your home will be ready in case the power goes out . (Of course, if there’s a possibility you’ll get caught out in a storm, it’s best to just stay home and stay safe.) Put your valuables in one place. Assigning one spot for all of your valuables that you’re leaving behind will make it easier to protect them. Jewelry, electronics, and other miscellaneous valuables should be placed in a safe that will make it harder for anyone to take them. A proper safe can also protect against fire and smoke to keep the items in perfect condition. To find the right one, assess the value of what you want to store and how large of a safe you’ll need. Give your home a vacation as well. You may consider giving your house a break while you’re traveling out of town. Turning down your heat or AC and turning off your non-essential appliances allows them to “rest” until you get back. Not only does this downtime help prolong the life of your major systems, it can also save you on your energy bill. Especially if you have a smart home , you can easily monitor and control your home as you travel to optimize your energy savings. Consider having someone check on things. Having someone you trust come by your home periodically to check on it is perhaps the best way to ensure everything remains in order. A friend or relative can easily perform some simple maintenance and let you know about any problems. You could also ask if your local NPI inspector provides a Home Watch service! A trained inspector will check that your home is secure, test your security system, and any other tasks you’d like completed. They’ll be able to act as your eyes and ears while you’re away, so you can enjoy your vacation! For more information on Home Watch and other services, contact your local inspector today!