Planning for a weekend or week-long vacation? Maybe your getaway this year is measured in weeks (Yeay!). Before leaving for that special trip, make sure to prepare yourself and your home. For international travel, it’s recommended that you follow a checklist to cover everything needed on your destination. You should have one too for your home to ensure its safety while you’re away.
Otherwise, your smile can turn to a frown in a jiffy as you open the front door and find the home flooded. For safety reminders, here are some plumbing and electrical tips before boarding that plane:
Unplug your electricals
Unplug appliances if no one will be left at your home.
- Kitchen appliances such as toasters and kettles can be fire risks so make sure they are disconnected from a power source. Leave the fridge and freezer plugged if you won’t be gone that long. Energy saved may not be worth it compared to the food you’ll have to discard. Plus it may start to smell when not in use.
- TVs and other entertainment systems are safer but you may want to unplug them to save on energy. If they are plugged on a surge protector, just turn off the surge protector itself.
- Hot water systems should be turned off as well. If you’re using electricity, you can turn it off from the switchboard. For gas, switch it to pilot mode.
It goes without saying that security systems should remain plugged and running. If you don’t have it, maybe it’s time to have one installed before you leave.
If someone will be staying at your house, make sure he’s informed on where the switches are. Give him a list of things to turn off during emergencies.
Check for potential leaks and clogs
Pipes and taps can spring leaks. Check for pooling of water long after use in the kitchen sink and bathroom. Flexible hoses are prone to cracks. You may turn off the water source for these just to make sure. Leaks in hot water systems can get worse in a day or two depending on the cause. Make sure to look at it as well.
Are there unnecessary sounds from the toilet? A whistling, humming or gurgling perhaps? It may indicate excess water pressure, damaged diaphragm or potential clog. Consult with your plumber on how to address these.
Clean the front yard
Trim the greens in your garden. Cut the tree branches that can fall in power lines. Prune your fast-growing privacy screens and make sure that discarded stems and leaves are properly disposed of. If not, they can clog drains and sewer lines. When dry, they can easily catch fire. Besides, untidy yards are one of the signs that the house is empty which may attract burglars. If possible, have your neighbour collect your mail while you are away.
As an extra precaution, you may want to hire plumbing and electrical services to inspect your home for potential problems while you’re away. This can lessen your worries on your home and focus on enjoying your vacation.