Are you planning to go away for a while? If so, then you have a lot more to consider on the home front than who will water your plants while you are gone. Here are some tips for making sure your home is safe and maintained before you travel:

Making Sure Your Home is Safe and Maintained Before You Travel

Tell a Neighbor

If you have neighbors close by and a good enough rapport with them, then it is a good idea to ask them to keep a watch out on your place while you are gone. Give them a phone number you can be reached at and instruct them to call you if they notice anything suspicious.

Set your Lights on a Timer

Potential thefts and vandals will have a harder time suspecting you are away if they see that your lights turn on and off throughout the day. You don’t have to get too elaborate. A front entry light or kitchen light is a great way of saying “somebody’s home,” even when that’s not the case. In addition to warding off criminals, outdoor lights are also a great way to highlight entryways into your home, so that your neighbors can spot any suspicious activity at night.

Your Hot Water Tank

Hot water tanks leak at the most inopportune times, and a water lead while you are away from your home can be devastating if there’s not limit on the amount of water that is displaced. Avoid this risk by turning the water to your hot water tank off before you leave. If you plan on staying gone for an extended period of time (working out of the country or vacationing for the entire summer, for example), then you can also turn your water tank off completely in order to save on electricity.


While it may seem like a good, common sense idea to turn your furnace off completely when you leave, to save on electricity, doing so can actually damage, or even ruin, your furnace. Most manufacturers generally recommend leaving your thermostat on at a minimum temperature of 60 degrees. If you are unsure, check with the owner’s manual that came with your furnace.

Don’t advertise your Vacation

It’s common practice for people today to advertise an upcoming vacation on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter. Unfortunately, this can make your empty home vulnerable to invasion while you are away. If you must share details of your trip (and who wouldn’t want to brag about a great vacation?), then the time to post pictures and vacation anecdotes is after you return home, when your home is safe and sound with its owners.

Protecting your home while you are away requires considerations on a number of different fronts. Keep all of these points in mind to ensure your home’s ultimate safety, maintenance, and security while you are away.

About the Author: Dan Sims and his wife love to travel and make home improvements. They just added a new set of dour louvers and window treatments and will be upgrading their security system before their next trip.