Electricity: Turn off all lights that aren’t on timers. Unplug all non-essential electrical appliances and all electronics. Any one of these could spark a fire, and many use electricity even when they are not on, so unplugging them makes the most sense. Turn your electric water heater down or shut it off at the circuit breaker.
Gas: Set gas appliances to the “vacation” or “pilot” setting. Don’t shut off the pilot lights only – turning on an appliance with the pilot light off can cause a dangerous build-up of gas.
Water: Run the dishwasher and flush all toilets. If you don’t need the water on for plant and grass watering, shut off the water supply to your house to prevent flooding. Opening a faucet in the lowest level of your home will relieve pressure on your pipes and allow the system to drain slightly.
Furnace: Don’t turn your furnace off when you go away in the winter months. Turn the thermostats to 55 degrees, which saves money, keeps water pipes warm and prevents condensation on walls and windows.
Yard: Clear your walks and pathways, and then put away all equipment in a secure location, unless you’ve made arrangements for someone to use your stuff to shovel in your absence. Also, be sure your fence gates are locked, especially if you have a pool (even in winter, pools can be dangerous for kids).
Security: Set all lighting timers. Move your valuables out of obvious sight. Lock your garage door and unplug the automatic opener. Lock all doors and windows. Turn on the alarms when you leave.
MAKE A LIST! Because the last thing you want to do when you come back is to forget to turn something on, make a list of everything you shut off.
Find Or Create a Neighborhood Using NEXTDOOR
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free. Thousands of neighborhoods are already using Nextdoor to build happier, safer places to call home.
People are using Nextdoor to:
- Quickly get the word out about a break-in
- Organize a Neighborhood Watch Group
- Track down a trustworthy babysitter
- Find out who does the best paint job in town
- Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
- Find a new home for an outgrown bike
- Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name
Nextdoor’s mission is to bring back a sense of community to the neighborhood, one of the most important communities in each of our lives.
My neighborhood has it’s own Nextdoor and it is being used a lot. We have had trucks coming through our area stealing items from front and back yards. When enough people in the neighborhood called the sheriff, we got action. We’ve also found a dog, had a day care parade, offered swimming lessons and on it goes. I know the people in my neighborhood and the elderly feel connected too!