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Making sure your home is well taken care of before jetting out on a plane to your next vacation destination is crucial to its state of being. Nobody wants to return home to a flooded basement, sky-rocket heat bills, or, the worst imaginable, fire damage. Taking a few simple steps before you leave can help stop that phone call to an emergency plumber in Highland Park. This vacation-proof checklist is sure to put you and your home at ease.

Lights, Camera, Stop That Burglar

If you’re leaving on vacation for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to keep a few lights on to avoid any surprise robberies. Of course, leaving your lights on the entire time is completely unnecessary and will rack up your electric bill, but setting a few on a timer is possible. Programmable timers can be bought in your local home goods store and are relatively affordable.

You can also add the illusion of being home by leaving a few blinds half open. You don’t want anyone peeking into your home while you’re gone, so make sure they’re only open enough to give the appearance that someone is there.

Another way to prevent burglars from entering your home while you’re away is to install a security system with cameras. There are a number of top-quality security systems out there that will notify you if anyone is trying to break into your home. In addition, you can let the company know that you will be out of town, which will keep them more alert to any alarms going off in the area.

This one is a no-brainer, but make sure all your windows and doors are securely locked. It’s quite common for people to forget a window or two before they leave for vacation, so stick on the safe side and check them all before you depart.

Cooling and Heating

While you’re away, it’s important to NOT turn off your AC or heating system. Most people make this mistake, as they’re trying to save money on bills when they’re not around. However, turning off your cooling or heating systems can be highly detrimental to your home, causing freezing, bursting pipes or accumulating a high electricity bill by making big appliances work harder to cool down. Avoid having to call your emergency plumber in Highland Park and keep your heat running at least 50 degrees in the winter and your AC a few degrees below the average temperature outside in the summer.

Another lifesaver to home plumbing is turning off the water. This also prevents pipes from bursting, as there won’t be any water in them to freeze. Leaks are also a possibility of keeping your water running while you’re gone and there won’t be any way to find out until you’re back home and your hardwood floor is ruined. If this is the case, an emergency plumber in Highland Park will be happy to assist you. Turning your water off before you leave also saves water as a whole, which is beneficial to our planet.


Make sure all your appliances (i.e. computers, televisions, radios, alarm clocks, coffeemakers, microwaves) are unplugged before you leave in order to save energy. Toasters, namely, are also notorious for causing fires when plugged in, even when they’re not being used.

Stove & Oven

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people forget to turn off their stove and oven before setting out on vacation. Electric stoves are especially dangerous because it’s not always obvious that they’re on. Don’t come back to a burning home — take this extra step to assure your home’s safety.


Empty the trash, clean your kitchen, and vacuum the floors to avoid any bugs or awful smells upon your return. It’s also a great idea to clean out your fridge before you leave, throwing out any items that are likely to perish while you’re away.

Water Your Plants

Watering your plants is key to their vitality! If a few plants need to be watered more frequently while you’re gone, consider asking a friend or family member to come by and do it for you or leaving these specific plants with them.

There are many ways you can avoid coming back to a robbed, smelly, and broken home. If you find you’ve missed a few things on this checklist and are in need of an emergency plumber in Highland Park, feel free to reach out to New Generation Plumbing. We’ll get your home back to new as soon as we can!