With the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, vacations are a must to de-stress and take a break from our daily routines! With the excitement of an upcoming trip, planning your activities and packing can often take priority over home preparation. After all, the last thing anyone wants to worry about is home maintenance before a vacation! However, taking some time to prepare your home before you jet-off can minimize the risk of damage or theft. After all, nobody wants to come home from a great trip to find out their home has been robbed or damaged. Here are some tips to protect your home while you are away!
1. Secure Your Home
Vacant homes are particularly attractive to thieves; it’s the ideal opportunity to break in without getting caught. That’s why home security is particularly important. Securing your home while you are away is the first step to minimizing the risk of a break and enter. Though it may seem obvious, it’s essential to confirm that all entryways are properly secured. Double-check that all of your doors and windows are securely locked, including your garage. Garages are often forgotten by homeowners and it can be an easy entryway for a thief. Ensure your garage door is fully closed and lock the entry door from the garage into your home. For added protection, consider turning off your garage door to prevent thieves from breaking in.
Take some time to inspect your home security system and security cameras, if you have them. Prepare your security system and ensure it is programmed for when you are away. If you have any smart home devices, program them accordingly for your absence. If you have any valuable items, it’s recommended that you lock them in a safe.
2. Disconnect All Electronics
You’ll never have to worry about mistakingly leaving an appliance running while on vacation. To avoid any fire damage, pricey utility bills and electric malfunctions while you are away, unplug all electronics and kitchen appliances that will not be used. Conduct a thorough inspection of each room in your house to confirm that all electronics are disconnected properly.
3. Be Mindful Of Your Mail
A home with an overflowing pile of newspapers, mail and packages is an obvious sign to a thief that your property is unoccupied. If you are subscribed to any magazines, newspapers or have ongoing deliveries, consider temporarily discontinuing any mailing services while you are away. Most subscription orders require notice a few days in advance, so be sure to contact all delivery services at least 3 days before your trip. In addition, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to pick up any mail or packages that might be left on your doorstep.
4. Prevent Water Damage
Coming back from a memorable vacation is already a dreaded experience for many! Adding in an unexpected discovery of a flood or water damage can be very frustrating. To decrease the risk of water damage, there are a few steps you can take. First off, shut off your main valve and water supply valve. If you are unable to shut off the main water supply valve, consider shutting off the water valve of appliances that could cause water damage such as your dishwasher and washing machine. Your sump pump system plays a key role in diverting any water away from your basement and preventing flooding. Before your trip, perform a test on your sump pump to ensure it is functioning correctly. Lastly, be sure to shut off all exterior faucets such as garden hoses and sprinkler systems.
5. Update Your Home Inventory
If you already have a home inventory list, this is the perfect opportunity to update your list to add any new household items. An updated home inventory list will come in handy if you were to encounter home theft, water or fire damage. It will also give you an idea of the valuables that you would like to store in a safe. If you do not have a home inventory list, now is the time to make one! You may be able to get an existing list from your insurance company or you can create a written or digital record by yourself.
Are You Prepared?
Make sure your return is stress-free by preparing your home before you leave. By taking the time to ensure your home is safe and secure, you will thank yourself later. Want to learn more about home maintenance? Check out our blog for tips and insurance news! For added protection, discover our home insurance policies. If you are a valued customer and would like to report a claim, download our mobile app or contact us today!