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Here are a few vacation preparation steps that can ensure your home is in great shape when you return.
If a pipe breaks or freezes or a toilet overflows, the amount of water entering your home during a one- or two-week trip could cause extreme water damage to the structure and to your possessions. Consider turning off your home’s main water supply. Plumbing in homes in Florida and South Carolina may not have been designed to withstand deep freezes. If the temperature drops sharply while you are gone, pipes installed with insufficient insulation or under sinks can freeze. Shutting off your home’s main water supply before you leave can significantly minimize the chance for water damage.
The best way to discourage theft and vandalism is to make your home appear occupied while you are away. Select lights and install automatic timers. Set timers so lights will go on and off at specific times. Burglars and vandals tend to avoid homes with lights on. Let trusted neighbors know that you will be gone and ask them to collect your mail and newspapers. Leave them your contact information so they can notify you if something goes wrong in your absence.
Even if you’re away for a short time, set your monitored alarm. If a window is broken or a fire starts, your alarm company notifies the police and the fire department. Neighbors can be a wonderful security asset, but they will not be monitoring your home constantly like a monitored alarm will.
While we all love to post zany or scenic vacation photos on social media, doing so alerts your friends (and their friends depending on your settings) that you are away. If you do plan to post your photos as you travel, mention your live-in dog sitter or some fact that reminds people that your house is not empty. While we control our friends on Facebook, we cannot always control who sees our posts. You never know who is paying attention to your whereabouts. Telling others that you are on vacation and when you will return could be a flashing green light for potential burglars.
Florida and South Carolina homeowners live in a perfect geographic hub to exotic travel locations. Taking a few simple steps before traveling can help you prevent a burglary or other homeowners loss and make sure your only memories of your vacation are happy ones.