Preparing Your House to Go on a Trip

Summer vacation is right around the corner, and that beach trip your family has been planning is only a few days or weeks away! Your bags are packed, your hotel is booked, and your family is all set to go. But is your home ready?  

Whether you’re gone for a long weekend or the entire summer, your home needs to be prepped for your departure. After all, no one wants to come home to stolen electronics or a flooded basement! Use SCANA Energy’s home safety pre-trip checklist to ensure you come back to the same home you left.

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  1. Lock all Your Doors and Windows: This one may seem like a no-brainer, but double-checking that every window is latched and every door is dead-locked can go far in deterring potential burglars.
  2. Adjust Your Water Heater: Even if SCANA Energy, the best natural gas provider in Atlanta, has some of the lowest gas prices in the state, why waste money and energy by warming 40-50 gallons of water you won’t use? By turning your gas water heater to the pilot or “vacation” setting, your savings will be significant – potentially between 15-25% of your bill. And don’t worry; it should only take 20 minutes to warm up once you’re back in town!
  3. Put a Stop on Your Mail: Nothing gives away an empty residence like a mailbox stuffed with unread letters. Place a “hold” online through United States Postal Service on your mail and contact your newspaper supplier. It’s a simple and easy way to ensure your home looks occupied.
  4. Adjust Your Thermostat: Why keep your air conditioning running if there’s no one to enjoy the cool air? During the summer months, SCANA Energy recommends keeping your house at 86 degrees while you’re away. Don’t turn off the A/C outright or your air will become stagnant. Once you return, turn the dial down to 78. Learn more about the right temperature for every season.
  5. Turn Off Your Water Valve: Don’t ruin your vacation by returning to a flooded home. Turning off the water at the main shut-off valve will ensure there are no plumbing leaks while you’re away. Alternatively, if you want to water your lawn or have someone to water your plants when you’re on vacation, ask your plumber to set up an automatic shutoff valve in case of leaks.
  6. Think of Fido: If you have a cat, dog, or other pet, don’t leave their plans to the last minute. Confirm their stay with a neighbor or at a kennel. If you’re hiring a pet sitter, make sure to meet them ahead of time and walk through your pet’s routine. Even better: they could also help collect your mail (#3) and maintain the look of a lived-in house (#11)!
  7. Unplug Appliances: Save energy – and protect against power surges – by unplugging any non-essential appliances, like toasters, printers, dryers, and television sets. Want to save the big bucks? Unplug some of the appliances that hog your natural gas.
  8. Keep Your Lights On – Sometimes: Lights are one of the most effective ways to deter potential burglars. Rather than keeping lights on 24 hours a day, though, invest in light timers that can program your lamps to go on and off at designated times.
  9. Snuff the Pilot Light: The pilot light in your natural gas fireplace and stove can be costing you between $7-$10 per month – even in the summer! For the advanced savers out there, it’s possible to turn off the pilot light while away and reignite it (safely) upon your return.
  10. Set the Alarm: If you have a security system installed, use it! There is no better way to secure your home while you’re away than with an alarm system. But, if your home is not equipped with an alarm system, a simple security system sign in your yard can have a similar impact.
  11. Maintain Appearances: If you’re gone for an extended period of time, consider hiring a friendly neighbor to mow the law or park in your driveway every so often. Giving the appearance that you’re still home is essential, even while you’re away.
  12. Don’t Humble Brag: Yes, I’m sure all your Facebook followers would love an update on your vacation, but be careful what you say on social media. There’s no better giveaway than a status update. 

Now, you can enjoy a worry-free vacation knowing that your home is safe while you’re away.

Sunscreen? Check. Bathing suit? Check. Home safety? Check. 

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