You want your home to perform safely and efficiently this holiday season, both when you’re at home and when you’re away on winter vacation. What do you have in mind to make your desire a reality? Follow these safety tips and you’ll be all set.
Ask a Friend to Housesit
A simple way to increase your peace of mind while traveling is to let a trusted friend in on your plans. Ask him or her to drive by your home once a day to check on things. Leave a key with this friend so he or she can bring in the mail, feed the cat and water your houseplants.
Also, ask your friend to shovel the driveway if it snows, since an untouched driveway after a storm is a telltale sign you’re out of town. Leave emergency contact numbers with your friend so he or she can get in touch if something is amiss.
Adjust Your Curtains
It may seem obvious that you should close your curtains while you’re gone, even if you normally keep them open when you’re home. However, if someone has been watching you, they’re sure to notice this change in behavior and figure out that you left town. It’s actually best to leave your curtains the way you normally do when you’re home to help avoid tipping off any criminals who have been paying attention.
Move Valuables Out of Site
If you decide to leave your curtains open, move anything out of sight that could tempt a thief. This means tucking away jewelry, computers and other valuables easily visible from the window.
Set Lights on Timers
In an effort to make your home look and sound lived in while you’re gone, set a few strategic lights, TVs and radios on timers. This way, they turn on automatically for a few hours in the evening to make it look like you’re relaxing at home like normal.
Prepare for Winter Weather Conditions
You want to save energy while you’re gone, but don’t turn the furnace all the way off. Instead, set it to 55 degrees or higher to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Avoiding the disastrous aftermath of frozen and burst pipes is well worth a few extra dollars on your energy bill.
Also, take time to seal and insulate windows and doors before you leave. This helps keep unwanted cold air and moisture out. If you have any cracked or broken windows, make fixing them a priority before you leave on your trip.
You might also choose to install cellular shades leading up to your departure. These let light through while adding an extra insulating layer to the window. Since it’s perfectly natural to keep these window coverings down at all times, thieves won’t suspect a thing.
Keep Your Christmas Tree Away From the Window
If you have a real tree, sitting in the direct sunlight shining through the window could make it dry out faster. This not only lowers its appeal, but also makes for a bigger fire hazard. Also, keep your tree well watered to keep it fresh longer.
If everyone in the family is going out of town for a week or longer around Christmas, consider disposing of the tree before you leave. That way, you don’t have to deal with a dried out tree and needles all over the floor when you come home.
Take safety seriously this holiday season! If you need help preparing your windows for winter weather, please contact the Glass Doctor®. We provide window repair, replacement and other glass services.