Going on holidays? Give your home a safe holiday too

(Our Manly Article – December 2009)

Picture this. You have just returned home from your much needed holiday feeling revitalised, calm and relaxed. You open the front door, smiling and chatting about how great the holiday was but how nice it is to be home, only to be greeted with sheer horror.

Your floor is covered in water (and we aren’t talking about the bathroom). But how could this have happened? You haven't been home for the last week or two. What many of us don't realise is that when we go on holidays our home doesn’t. It is still working and can encounter problems even when we aren't there like a burst hot water system, split washing machine hoses or damaged appliances.

Sure you might turn off the lights, lock the windows, doors and gates as you leave and generally that is enough. But there are a few more simple things you can do that will not only save you money but also, more importantly, your sanity.

So, let’s get started on keeping your home out of harm’s way!

  1. TAPS
    Ensure your taps in the kitchen, bathroom and ensuite bathroom/s are turned off completely (not too tightly though as this will deteriorate the tap washers). Dripping taps not only waste water and cost you money, but they can also stain your sink or cause damage if they manage to overflow.
  2. WASHING MACHINE
    Turn off your washing machine cocks (again not too tightly). This will prevent the possibility of your washing machine hoses bursting or splitting and causing flooding.
  3. HOT WATER SYSTEM
    Turn off the water and power circuit breaker/fuse to your hot water system. Turning off the water to your hot water system eliminates the possibility of the tank bursting or rupturing and again the instance of flooding.
    Once the water is turned off, turn off the circuit breaker/fuse to the system so the tank cools down. This will reduce energy usage and your property will be safe from condensation caused by the water constantly heating (think of when you shower and the amount of condensation that appears on the ceiling and walls).
  4. APPLIANCES
    It is important to protect your appliances against power surges. If you don’t already have a power surge protector installed in your meter board, or have your appliances plugged directly into one, simply disconnect them from the power for the duration of your holiday. This includes items such as your microwave, kettle, dishwasher, washing machine, dryer and television (but of course, not your fridge).
  5. OUTDOOR TAPS/HOSE COCKS
    Just as you did with your inside taps, check that your outdoor taps are turned off completely to minimise water wastage.
  6. ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAY!
    Relax, have fun and rest assured your home is having a safe and uneventful holiday too.

General Advice Disclaimer: Every home is different and this general advice may not be suitable to your specific circumstances. Please consider whether this general advice is suitable for you. In the case of any reasonable doubt we recommend that you seek our expert advice about your specific circumstances before acting on the general advice set out above.