Are you the kind of person who leaves on vacation uneasily, afraid that something bad might happen to your house while you are gone? And while you’re on vacation, do you feel compelled to call your neighbor every hour and ask him to check if smoke or a burglar could possibly be coming out of your bedroom window? If you’re this uneasy about leaving your house, there are two possibilities: One is you are a plain old obsessive-compulsive nutcase, and/or two: you left in a hurry and now you’re regretting not checking the basics.

If you don’t want to spoil your vacation by constantly praying that your house isn’t under attack by burglars, fires, or water sprinklers activated by smoke detectors gone berserk, then here are five things to check in your house before leaving so you can make sure it’s all in one piece when you return:

Windows and Doors

It’s standard procedure to close all windows and doors first before leaving the house. Just so you won’t forget, close all the windows (and shutters, if you have them at your house) first and use the lights to check the rooms. When you’re sure that the window(s) in a room is secure and there aren’t any appliances plugged in, then turn off the light then lock the door. Repeat the process for every room.

Smoke Detection System

Smoke detections systems are great in the sense that you’ll be informed if there’s a potential fire cooking up in your house and you can easily assess the situation then turn the system off to avoid activating the sprinklers. But what if you’re not there and the alarm sets off? If you don’t want the idea of cleaning up furniture and floorboards soaked and practically infested with mould and mushrooms, have your smoke detectors and sprinklers checked before leaving. If they do set off, be thankful that you’re just cleaning your floorboards and aren’t busy shovelling charcoal into trucks (either way, you still left something burning so it’s your fault).

Circuit Breakers

Electrical surges can cause overload in electric appliances which in turn can cause fires. So make sure you have a set of perfectly-working circuit breakers installed, just in case.


If you’re not taking your vehicles with you (because, for instance, your prized SUV cannot exactly fit in an airplane), make sure that they are secured and safe while sitting inside your garage. Check that the lights are turned off (to save the battery), the doors are locked, the windows secured, and the garage doors locked and you will most likely return to your SUV with it still in perfect, working condition.

Phone/Answering Machine

Hey, surely not everyone knows that you’re going to the Caribbean or to an exotic place like Palau, so why not take the opportunity to flaunt it by saying so and activating your answering machine? Apart from sounding like a tell-all Kardashian, you also get to receive important messages from family and colleagues (Example: It’s me. You didn’t show up for work. You told me you’ll be on vacation for just two days. This is day six. Now you can enjoy a more extended vacation, because you’re fired!).