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As a Realtor, I come across a lot of great information pertaining to homes.  I wanted to share this valuable safety information I received from Landmark home warranty.  Are you looking forward to going on vacation?  Here is what you should do to make sure your home stays safe while you are away.  

1) UNPLUG APPLIANCES - Save energy and reduce potential damage of fires by unplugging your small appliances.

2) STOP THE MAIL & NEWSPAPERS - Mail and newspapers that pile up tell burglars that nobody's home.   Put a hold on your mail and paper or ask a neighbor to gather it while you are away.

3) TIME THE LIGHTS - Purchase timers for your lights.  Time your lights so they turn on and off at different points in the evening.  It makes it seem like someone is home.

4) CHECK SMOKE ALARM - Test your batteries in the smoke alarm, and if they are over a year old, change them.

5) CHANGE THERMOSTAT - Give your HVAC system a vacation, too.  Turn the thermostat up/down so you don't waste energy while you are gone.  

6) TURN WATER HEATER OFF - Your water heater does not need to be heating water while you are out of town.  Make sure that you turn it to "vacation mode."

7) LOCK UP - Lock up all your doors, windows, and pet doors (if your pets aren't staying there).  Turn off your garage door opener and move your spare keys from their hiding places. 

8) PREVENT SMELLS - Make sure your home doesn't smell bad when you come back from vacation.  Take out the trash, clean any food out of the fridge that may spoil while you are gone, and clean the garage disposal too.  

9) DON'T LEAVE YOUR GPS - Burglars love to steal cars that are parked at the airport.  Do not leave valuables in your car and do not leave your GPS!  Burglars can see where you live and break into your home.