Prep your home for days away
They say the holiday season is the most wonderful time of year. For many Americans, it will also be one of the busiest. Not only must we contend with the usual duties this season brings, but this year, many of us will also take on the added tasks that come with traveling.
According to Airlines for America, 45.7 million passengers will fly on a U.S. airline between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6. This equates to a 5.2-percent increase, or more than 2.5 million people per day, according to the group. If you are joining the pack and heading out the door this holiday season, don’t forget to take the necessary precautions to ensure your home is happy and healthy when you return.
Stop the mail
Put a hold on your mail and packages by visiting usps.com, ups.com and fedex.com. For your newspaper, call the Honolulu Star-Advertiser customer service center (538-6397). Nothing alerts others to an empty house more than a front porch filled with untouched deliveries. You can arrange for your things to be delivered when you get back, or you can pick them up upon your return.
Hide a key
There may be a reason a friend or neighbor will need to access your home. You can either leave a key with a trusted person, or you can hide one in a locked area like a garage. Whatever you do, don’t put it in the most obvious spot: Underneath the doormat. That is the first place an intruder will check.
Install automatic light timers throughout the home, and program them to turn on and off at specific times of day. If you use a smart home hub, like Google Home, you can use the smart outlets and connect them to Wi-Fi. If you forget to automate them, you can always do it from your phone while you are away.
Take care of your stuff
Make a list of all your valuable and big-ticket items. Check with your home insurance agent and add on itemized insurance, if needed. Be thorough with your list. Take pictures and include things like model and serial numbers. Keep important paperwork in a waterproof container (like a zip-close bag) in a fireproof vault or safe. Make sure you also have extra copies stored in another location.
Talk to your neighbors
Let your neighbors know your travel dates and fill them in on any expected guests. Make sure they have your contact information, in case they need to get a hold of you.
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