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How to Protect Your Home from Fire and Flood While You’re Away

When you go on vacation, the goal is to relax and enjoy visiting somewhere new. You don’t want to get distracted worrying about what might be happening at home. Enjoy peace of mind with these tips to prevent fire and flood damage while you’re away.

  • Install a monitored security system with environmental sensors: The primary purpose of a security system is to keep your home safe from intruders. However, with heat and moisture sensors, you also receive alerts on your phone if a fire or flood is detected. Low temperature readings could mean your furnace has stopped working, and your pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. These alerts let you take action to reduce the damage to your home.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working: Test them and change the batteries if necessary. If your smoke alarms are tied to your monitored security system, the fire department will receive an alert any time an alarm goes off.
  • Adjust the thermostat: You don’t want to waste energy heating or cooling a vacant house, but you shouldn’t turn off your HVAC system entirely either. Set the air conditioner to about 85 degrees and the furnace no lower than 55 degrees to prevent indoor temperature extremes.
  • Upgrade to a smart thermostat: You can adjust the settings on any thermostat while you’re gone, but with a smart thermostat, you can monitor and control the temperature from anywhere. This gives you peace of mind while you’re away.
  • Unplug unnecessary electronics: Pull the plug on TVs, computers, fans, lamps, coffee makers, and other devices to save money on standby power loss. This simple step also reduces the risk of electrical fires and protects your electronics from power surges that can occur during thunderstorms.
  • Shut off the water: A proven way to avoid burst pipes and other plumbing leaks while you’re out of town is to shut off the water main. If you still want your automatic sprinkler system to work, turn the valves behind individual plumbing fixtures and appliances instead, including sinks, toilets, and the washing machine.
  • Switch the water heater to vacation mode: You don’t need to pay for hot water while you’re on vacation, but you shouldn’t shut off the water heater completely, either. Turn the knob to the lowest setting, and remember to restore the usual temperature as soon as you return home.
  • Clean the gutters: If the gutters and downspouts are clogged, water has nowhere to go during a torrential downpour. This could put your basement or crawlspace at risk of flooding. Make sure rainwater is directed away from the foundation by cleaning the gutters before you leave on your trip.

Follow these tips to greatly reduce the chance of a fire, flood, or other incident in your home while you’re away. Then, if flames or water ever damage your property, please call DKI Services to request professional fire damage or flood damage restoration.