Many of us make serious preparations planning a vacation with lists of places to visit, people to see, things to do but neglect to think about what should be done at their residence for safety and protection of their property.

The anticipation of vacation can be both exciting and daunting. When closing the home for vacation, though, you’ll want to be prepared for any problems that may occur in your absence.

Prepare a checklist you can refer to every time you go on vacation. You can add or remove tasks from the list if things change in your living situation. Here are a few suggestions to prepare your home and ease your mind while you enjoy time away from home:

• Get a home check-up before you leave. Let your vacation be a reminder to get a preventative check-up for your major appliances. It’s a perfect time to have your cooling and heating equipment’s yearly check up. You won’t have any surprises while you’re away if you take care of problems before you’re closing the home for vacation.

• Unplug appliances. You want to protect yourself from any major home disasters while away, and fire is at the top of the list. Be sure to unplug your toasters, components to your entertainment systems, computers, and any other small appliances you may have plugged in everyday. This will also save the energy that’s wasted through “vampire” power losses.

• Turn off water valves. A flooded home can be devastating, and the clean-up can be worse. Turn off the water supply from the main valve. This will avoid having to turn off each individual valve. If you made arrangements for someone to take care of pets, or to water your lawn, shut off the valves individually, and leave clear instructions on how to turn the water back on and off. Make sure you cut the power or fuel to your water heater if you turn off the water that flows into it.

• Adjust the thermostat. Leave your thermostat several degrees higher than normal, in order to save energy. But don’t turn the A/C off entirely since an occasionally working outdoor condensing unit will make it seem as if someone’s home.

• Hold the mail at the post office. Nothing says “on vacation” like an overflowing mailbox. Stop your mail and newspaper delivery during the time you will be away.

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