Closing up the House: Homeowner’s Checklist
If you’re about to walk out the door for an extended period of time, using this checklist can help keep your home safe while you’re gone.
- Adjust the thermostat. In cold climates, set the thermostat no lower than 55 degrees. In warm climates, set the air conditioner no higher than 85 degrees.
- Shut off gas to the water heater or turn the temperature control to the “vacation” setting.
- Unplug all appliances like the toaster, microwave, computer, and television. Make sure the dryer isn’t on.
If you choose to leave the water turned on:
- Turn off the water supply to individual fixtures – in both warm and cold climates.
- Make sure appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine are not running and that toilets have stopped filling up.
- If the house has a sump pump, make sure it’s working.
Make the house look lived in:
- Set automatic timers for interior lights on staggered hours, and turn on motion sensors for exterior lights.
- Ensure all doors, windows, skylights, and vents are properly closed and locked.
- Stop mail service and newspaper deliveries.
- Inform local police the house will be empty.
When you return home:
- Restore services that had been discontinued.
- Turn on water valves and/or supply lines to each fixture. Run water through every faucet to flush out lines and make sure they work. Carefully check for leaks.
Creating a routine each time you leave your home empty for an extended period of time can reduce the likelihood of a disaster and keep work to a minimum when you return.