Southwest Florida is a very popular place for many who own second homes to escape from the harsh winters. When homeowners leave after the season is over, it is important to secure the home as to not make it a prime target for potential burglars and also to prepare the home for minimum cleanup upon your return.
Here are a few tips to remember when packing up your second home before heading north.
Putting away as many loose things as possible is important. This includes patio furniture and decorations that could be an easy target for potential thieves. Putting these things away in a locked shed or a garage is the best bet. Having the interior of the home cleaned and orderly before leaving is also important. The less that is left lying out, the better.
Another important point to remember is to shut down utility services that are no longer needed. This includes cable, internet, any outdoor fountains or ponds that will not be used while you are away. Empty out refrigerators and freezers, in case there were a power outage, to avoid spoiling food from melting and spilling out everywhere. Also, items in cabinets should be placed in sealed containers so as to not attract insects or rodents.
A third thing to do is to secure your home. Make sure to close and lock all windows and doors. Placing a wooden or metal rod of some kind to block a glass-sliding door from being opened is a good idea. Place sturdy locks on any storage sheds. Also, if you are accustomed to leaving a front door key hidden somewhere outside of the home, it is important to remove it before you leave.
It is optimal to consult with a security professional to learn more about protecting and closing up your vacation home for the winter and hire a home watch service to stop by occasionally and ensure your home is maintained and safe.