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Two Things You Should Do Before Leaving Home

November 15, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFor years we’ve heard “don’t leave home without it” regarding a credit card. When vacation time approaches or, with the economy, even a weekend away, there are two things you should do before leaving home every time you’ll be away for any length of time. It will take less than 2 minutes and could save your home, and for most people you don’t have to install a thing as it’s already there.

The first – always cut the water. Having a shutoff valve before it enters the home means being able to quickly and easily turn off the water. This is helpful in case of emergency and should already be installed. If you’re on a city water supply this isn’t the valve at the meter necessarily but rather a valve between the meter and the home.

Why – because things happen not just in freezing weather. Pipes break, connections give way. One situation that comes to mind is a man who hooked his RV in the park and let for the weekend..another camper reported water coming from the trailer and upon opening the door by park officials authorized to do so there was 2 inches of water in the trailer from a broken pipe. Further another break in a mobile home flooded the back side of a mobile home inside and out of the trailer. This could mean damage if you are gone for several days as even with a few hours it created a mess. This could result in thousands of gallons of water that you pay for but can’t use in addition to damage which is easily prevented by turning the water in the home off. Think about it – if you all are gone who is using it?

The second – flip the breaker off to the stove and dryer. Both of these take more power than a normal appliance and both generate heat. With power cut to them it greatly reduces the chances of a short becoming a fire because no one is home to stop it. This is as easy as flipping the switch in your electrical box which, if marked as it should be, takes just seconds. This leaves your lights that are on timers still on and allows for a “normal” appearance but reducing fire chances from two appliances that commonly cause fires.

This was underscored on Christmas eve 2008 when a short in the stove created a fire that filled the home with smoke. Fast action saved the home with minimal damage, but all was normal just an hour and a half earlier when the last family member went to bed. If gone for the weekend it would smolder until catching curtains and other flammables on fire with devastating consequences.

Less than 2 minutes. Isn’t your home worth it? If damage happens we often say “if only…” – don’t. These two things can make a difference. Make it a part of your preparing to go ritual. It can save your home.

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