If your stove breaks while you are away, the water in the pipes can freeze and eventually cause the pipes to burst, which can cause considerable damage. If your home is protected by a sprinkler system, leave the water supply in front of that system. Spring will eventually return to Wisconsin and you will soon be able to enjoy your custom house or lakeside home again, so that your home remains beautiful and in perfect condition while you are away. Remove any items that may freeze while you are away, such as beer bottles, paint containers, soft drinks and mineral water. Water damage, electrical fires and many other catastrophes can cost thousands of dollars. Your individual property must be maintained before you leave. If you are going out for a few weeks, a few months or even more, the following suggestions will help you prepare your home for the winter and make it safe. In very long absences, experts suggest turning off the gas water heater completely. These quick and easy steps will protect your home from damage and prevent a major disaster when you return. Stop at your home and check that the toilets and water heaters have been emptied. It is advisable to keep the house at a temperature of 55 degrees to prevent damage. Consider shutting off the water supply completely if you are absent for a longer period of time. After closing the main fountain, open all the taps and empty the water pipes. Before leaving the house, check for cracked windows, fire hazards and other problems that need to be solved. Water heaters are energy intensive because they only keep the water in the tank warm. Do not only disconnect indoor water sources. Store outdoor furniture such as tables, chairs, hammocks and delicate garden decorations in a garage, shed or warehouse.