Planning to leave town over the holidays, go on a winter vacation or you’ve just been assigned a long business trip? Be sure to prioritize home safety while you’re traveling. From locking the windows to prevent burglaries to scheduling preventative maintenance to prevent home heating oil from gelling, the following guidelines will help homeowners ensure the house stays safe while you’re away.
Protect Your Home
A few simple tips can go a long way to protect an unoccupied home.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to stop by your house to check on things and make it look occupied. Have them bring in your newspapers and even flip on a few lights if they’re not already set on timers. Nothing like a pile of yellowing newspapers on your doorstep to announce your home is unoccupied. And hey, while they’re there, maybe they can water your indoor plants and Christmas tree, too!
- And as tempting as it may be, resist broadcasting your departure on social media. Make sure that your children are discreet, too. Thieves thrive on these kids of hot tips which could result in a break-in. The less information you announce, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears.
- Unplug your electronics such as the computer, coffee pot and TV. You’ll not only save money while you’re gone, you’ll also eliminate the worry that you’ve left them on by mistake.
Prevent Home Heating Oil from Freezing: Preventative Maintenance
- Set your thermostat lower than when you’re home, but not so low that the pipes could freeze. The ideal “vacation-mode” temperature if you plan to be away during cold weather is no lower than 55° F.
- To improve the oil flow to the burner, wrap pipes with a water-resistant insulation material and ensure all openings are well-sealed to prevent col-air contact.
- Take exposure out of the equation by building a cover for your outdoor oil tank; just make sure there is enough airflow between the oil tank and the walls of the cover.
- Change the oil filter to prevent unnecessary clogging and boost performance even more.
- Also ask your heating company about a special blend that will help prevent home heating oil from gelling. The blend is designed to provide a continuous and gel-free use of your heating system regardless of how cold it gets.
Better Safe than Sorry
Go ahead and plan your vaca, but take the proper precautions before you leave. In case of an emergency, while you’re away, be sure to give your neighbor the name and number of your HVAC company (ahem: Tell them to call Point Bay Fuel at (732) 349-5059.
A little extra vigilance can keep your home and property safe while you’re gone.