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My Vacation Checklist

If you’re a longtime follower of Day & Nite you’ve seen this article before. We hope following our suggestions help to fortify your piece of mind while you’re enjoying your leisurely summer getaway. 

As summer approaches, a few folks have asked for the Vacation Checklist that we put on our website from time to time.  It’s been updated since D.I.Y. Security Systems with Cameras have becomes very affordable and common.  Now, there are systems widely available that monitor our homes and business with Alarm Sensors and Cameras for both inside and outside, that we can be connected to and can check on through our phones from anywhere in the world that has Internet access.

Single Doorbell Systems are less than $100, and Basic Indoor Systems with 4 Cameras, Storage (On-site or Cloud). range in price from $200 to $300. For medium-sized systems covering indoors and outdoors using wireless and infrared enabled cameras with H.D. for nights you’ll have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.  And of-course larger, more powerful Systems are available if pricing is of little issue.  Many wireless Cameras on all these Systems have substantial range (up to 500 ft) so that yards and out-buildings can even be included.  Even if we have our home or properties ‘house-sit’ by someone when we vacation, it’s very comforting to be able to lounge around by a pool in the tropics and pick up your phone to see who is knocking on your back door.

Anyway, many of us have checklists we use when we leave on vacation, and here’s the list I use when we go on vacation, based on common sense and many years of seeing some pretty bad damages when our clients have left homes and business un-attended…  

  1. Give family and/or a trusted friend or neighbor…
    • A key.   Don’t hide a key; they can always be found
    • Their personal ‘Code’ for the Alarm System; (not the Master Code)
    • Our Itinerary. 
  2. Stop… 
    • The mail.
    • Paper.
  3. Make sure Pets…
    • Have enough food and water if left alone.
    • Have documented Care Details current and copied to sitter/boarder etc.
    • If appropriate, their Vet is notified who your Pet Sitter is and can speak for you/contact you.
  4. Make sure the house… 
    • looks normal from the outside…
    • Shades drawn?
    • Car in driveway, or not.
    • Lawn maintained etc. Mowing? Watering?
  5. Turn off / disconnect 
    • The ringer on any Landline phone.  
    • Message centers should have volume all the way down.
    • Power to any small appliance; iron, toaster etc.
    • Stove, Oven, Gas bar-b-que
    • All Wireless Computer equipment, Printers etc.
      • If Wi-Fi is needed/used on your Security System and/or Cameras, be sure it retains power and is set up and password protected carefully and thoroughly.
    • Power to Water Heater (circuit breaker or gas shut-off).
  • Water supplies to…
    •  The Washing Machine.  (Even the ‘braided Stainless Steel’ hoses pop apart sometimes.)
    •  The Water heater.  (Usually, the valve on the right-side pipe, right above it.)
    •  Ice Maker.  (It should have its own shut-off; hopefully under the Kitchen Sink, but if not it should be behind the refrigerator; you’ll have to pull it out.  Yes, it’s worth it. )
    •  Dishwasher.  (It should have its own shutoff under the sink.)
    •  To the Whole House if you have cheap plastic shut offs to fixtures (sinks, toilets), plastic risers or corrugated flexible risers to fixtures.
  1. Double Check
    • Wi-Fi, as mentioned above for Security System.
    • All interior doors are as you want, (think of fire and alarm system issues).
    • All exterior doors and windows are locked.
    • All drapes and blinds are as you want.
    • Automatic Garage Door is unplugged.  (Remotes are easily defeated by crooks).
    • Automatic Timers on lights are programmed; one Control per floor level minimum.
    • All Digital/Computer Equipment is as you want.
    • Temperature on Heating/Cooling System.  Do NOT turn off; adjust for median temp.  If you turn it off, humid muggy air will promote mold in the summer, and too cold in the winter will allow pipes to freeze on the outer walls of the house.
    • Refrigerator: remove food that will spoil
    • Large Freezer – that it’s plugged in and closed safe and sound.  If it locks, lock it. If it doesn’t a short strip of duct-tape across the door seal by the handle is a quick, visual indicator that it’s shut tight.
    • All garbage is emptied and taken out.
    • Valuables, Firearms etc.; that they are locked away in a safe.
  1. Then, lock the door on the way out, forget everything and HAVE FUN!!!


Bruce Davis Sr. 

Licensed Journeyman Plumber   Licensed Electrician, HVAC/R   Electrical Administrator, HVAC/R   Certified WA State C.E.U. Instructor

Bruce Sr is President of Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating, a 70-year-old family owned and operated plumbing and heating

business in Lynnwood, Washington.   Bruce can be contacted at:  Email: Bruce@dayandnite.net

Day & Nite Plumbing & Heating Inc. 16614 13th Ave. W. Lynnwood, WA 98037 800-972-7000

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