You probably (hopefully!) aren’t braced for a flood, a fire, or a burglary at any moment. In fact, we all like to assume, “It won’t happen to me!” The sad truth, however, is that a disaster or accident can happen to anyone. While you can’t protect yourself from everything, you can certainly take measures to prevent those things from happening while you’re away.
Whether you’re gearing up for holiday travel, a summer vacation, or even a quick weekend getaway, don’t forget to prepare your apartment for your departure! Before you leave, use these helpful tips to prevent accidents, weather damage, and burglaries in your apartment.
1. Put a few lights on timers.
Burglars are more active during the holiday season because they know that many families are traveling. If your windows are constantly dark, that’s their first sign that you’re gone – and your home becomes an easy target! Trick thieves into thinking you’re home by setting a few lamps on automatic timers before you leave. That’ll give the appearance that someone is still inside (and protecting!) your apartment.
2. Arrange for someone to pick up your newspaper or packages.
Potential burglars will take note if they see packages or newspapers piling up outside your vacant apartment, so ask a neighbor to bring them inside for you. For even more safety and peace of mind, leave a key with a trusted neighbor or nearby friend who can check your apartment every few days. Not only will they deter burglars who may be watching your apartment, they’ll also make sure nothing has gone awry since you left!
3. Unplug small appliances.
Yes, we know – unplugging those appliances behind your television requires some complex acrobatic moves, and your toaster is probably fine… but better safe than sorry. It’s a good idea to unplug as many appliances or electronics that you can before you head off. Unplug everything but your refrigerator, stove, washer, and dryer. This will not only prevent a potential fire, but it can also save you some money! Even when you’re not home, some appliances can still eat up electricity. Unplug, prevent a fire, and save a few bucks on your electric bill!
4. Make sure your renter’s insurance policy is up to date.
Renter’s insurance is a lifesaver if a disaster strikes while you’re away. Double check your renter’s insurance coverage and make sure your policy is up-to-date. You might be surprised what is and isn’t covered!
5. Check your faucets and exterior openings for leaks.
Have you been ignoring that leaky faucet for a couple of weeks? Ignorance is not bliss! Small leaks can turn into big problems while you’re gone, so call your apartment community’s management to get leaks properly repaired. It’s also a good idea to run your dishwasher a day or two before you plan to leave (especially if you don’t use it often) to make sure there aren’t any leaks within its pipes and systems. Check your windows and doors too, and change out old weather stripping or a worn-out window seal that could let rain into your apartment and leave you with a flooded mess when you return.
6. Clean up around your apartment.
Okay, so this might not prevent real danger… but do you really want to come back to a smelly apartment? Take a few minutes to clean up, take out the trash, dispose of old food in your refrigerator, and clean your kitchen garbage disposal if you have one. Wash any dirty dishes, and make sure there isn’t wet laundry in your washing machine when you leave.
7. Set up a security camera.
If you’re concerned about security while you’re gone, invest in and set up a security camera. There are many affordable options on the market, and some security apps even let you use an old camera phone or another device to send a live stream right to your phone. If you live in an area where holiday break-ins happen frequently, it may be worth the peace of mind to set up a camera system.
8. Do a safety check.
Old windows or locks could put you at risk for a break-in, so walk through our apartment safety checklist prior to leaving for your trip. Address any issues with your apartment community management so that your apartment is safe and sound while you’re gone.
Preparing your apartment can take a bit of time, but it can save you some headaches once you return home from your travels. And if you’re sick of traveling so much? Maybe it’s time to move closer to the activities and people you love most! If you’re ready for a change, find apartments for rent with ApartmentSearch. Our apartment locator tools can help you find just the place so you can start the year exactly where you want to be!