This foolproof trick will save you from wondering whether you turned the stove off

If you’re anything like me, the first thing that pops into your mind once your plane lifts off the ground for vacation is, “Oh no. Did I leave the stove on?”

Anyone who’s experienced stove paranoia, whether slight or severe, knows that worrying about burning your home to the ground can ruin a perfectly good vacation. Fortunately, there’s a trick that might just help you let go of that longstanding fear—and it’s a hack that doesn’t require any investments or installation time.

Here’s how it works. Next time you’re going on vacation, add one small item to your pre-departure to-do list: Take a picture of your stove dials just before leaving the house. If you’re worried about leaving your hair straightener, heater or air conditioner on, you can do the same thing with those appliances, too. Just snap a picture of the device with all dials pointed off. It will give you visible, time-stamped proof that all is well, which should give you some peace of mind on your vacation.

stovetop photo
Getty Images | Tim Boyle

There are a few other tricks out there that can help ease your mind when it comes to worrying about appliances being left on. If you say, “I’ve turned the oven off,” out loud before leaving (or clap your hands after doing so), it might help reinforce the memory later on when you start questioning yourself. Alternatively, you can make a list of all of the appliances that need to be checked before you leave, then text yourself a reassurance that you’ve double-checked everything.

If all else fails, you can always leave your key with a helpful neighbor or a nearby friend. After all, one British study found that 1 in 3 people worry about leaving appliances on—so there should be at least one person in your circle of friends willing to swap keys with you and check your stove if need be. Just remember to return the favor when they take off for vacation as well.