ready to leave for spring breakAfter you’ve endured the cold, snowy and windy Colorado weather over the winter, March usually is a welcoming month of spring break travels that might take you to warmer weather and hotter climates. If you’re like many spring breakers who are heading out of town or out of the country for a week of relaxing poolside, lakeside or Oceanside this month, you’re probably most concerned about packing the right swimsuit, sunglasses and sandals. Before you head off for spring break, though, it’s also important to pack up your house so it stays safe and accident-free during your travels.

Before jet setting to enjoy warmer weather and make lasting memories, protect your home during your spring break travels by going through the following pre-trip house preparation checklist:

Tip 1: Alert your neighbors

Let your neighbors and anyone close to you know about your travel plans so they can keep an eye out for suspicious activity around your house while you are gone. Neighbors watching out for one another can be one of the most effective ways to deter break-ins, etc. when you’re out of town.

Tip 2: Keep your trip quiet on the Internet

Don’t broadcast that you’re going to be away for spring break on social media sites and to large groups of people. You don’t want to give people any ideas about the potential for breaking into your house while you’re away.

Tip 3: Close shades, lock doors, secure garage doors 

And remove any valuables from sight! Anytime you leave your house, you should do all these things to make it a little bit more difficult for thieves to enter your home, but it’s even more important when you’re going to be away for longer periods of time.

Tip 4: Set your lights to a timer

Instead of turning on a couple of lights and calling it good, visit your local hardware and electrical store before your trip to invest in a light timing mechanism. By setting your lights on a timer, you can be more energy efficient and it helps to portray the notion that someone is home while you’re away.

Tip 5: Plan for regular check-ins

Ask a neighbor, friend or relative to stop by your home a few times while you’re gone to bring in your mail, newspapers, etc.  An easy target for break-ins is a house with a mailbox overflowing with mail, a driveway with newspapers piled high, or trashcans that stay on the curb long after your trash service has hauled away your garbage.

Tip 6: Eliminate potential fire danger

According to the Denver Fire Department, wiring, outlets, switches, circuit breakers and other electrical devices are the third leading cause of home fires and the second leading cause of fire deaths. Before you head out of town, unplug any electronics that won’t be in use while you’re gone and remove any potential fire dangers.

Tip 7: Check all batteries for smoke detectors, alarm systems, etc.

Before leaving for vacation, make sure that all of your safety detectors and alarms are working properly and have fresh batteries to ensure they will continue working while you’re out of town.

Tip 8: Clean out the kitchen

One of the worst things to come home too after an enjoyable vacation is an unfavorable smell or stench that welcomes you at the door. Eliminate unwanted odors by removing any perishable items from the refrigerator and pantry, clean out your sink and garbage disposal of any food waste, and remove your garbage before you leave.

Tip 9: Turn down your furnace and water heater temperatures.

There’s no need to run your furnace and water heat at full levels while you’re gone. Save energy and money by turning down your furnace to a temperature that is lower than when you occupy your home, but not too low in case we get a March blizzard and snow storm while you’re away. Also, turning down your water heater is a good idea too to save energy and money.

Tip 10: Turn on Your Alarm System

As you walk out the door to start your must deserved spring break trip, make sure to turn on your alarm system, if you have one, so that it’s activated and ready to secure your home while you’re away.

By going through the above checklist before you head out on your spring break trip, you will have peace of mind that you’re leaving your home safe and secure. The only thing that’s left to do is to relax and enjoy your spring break vacation!

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