Protect Your Home During a Vacation

It’s finally vacation time and you’re excited about much needed relaxation. When you go on vacation, you want to be able to forget about the struggles at home and not have to worry about your home and your things. Here a few tips to ensure you have a safe trip without an unneeded insurance claim when you return.

Home Burglary Prevention

First, let’s talk about burglaries. To prevent your home from being broken into while you’re away, take a few precautionary measures.  If you live near neighbors you trust, consider letting them know you’ll be gone on vacation, and offering them a way to contact you in case something at your home looks suspicious. If you’re active on social media, be cautious about what you tell your online friends about your whereabouts. Sometimes we are so excited that we inadvertently give too much information about ourselves, leading would be criminals right to our door while we are away.

Keep a light on. Whether you just keep an inside light on the entire time you’re away, or you put an inside light on a timer for a more authentic feel, having a light on will deter unwanted strangers from entering your home in the evening. The more you give the appearance that you are home, the less likely a home burglar will be inclined to invade your space. In addition, consider trimming back bushes and trees, as many thieves use such items to conceal themselves from the street as they break into your home. Walk around the perimeter of your home and try to think like a criminal, if there is a ladder or box near a window, move it to make accessing your home inconvenient.

Close the shades and blinds of your home before you leave. Doing so will conceal your valuables from a stranger’s view, making “window shopping” not as easy or convenient. You don’t want to advertise to passers by that you have the latest gaming system, or that you own nice pieces of jewelry.

Have your mail and newspaper deliveries held or have them be picked up by a friend. There is nothing more obvious that you’re away than newspapers building up on the driveway and a full mailbox. You might also ask them to check your door for solicitations, asking them to remove any door hangers or advertisements they may find.  If you will be away for a long period of time, have someone mow your lawn. An unkept lawn is another sign of a homeowner who might be away. Lock all your doors, gates, and garage openings.

Now let’s talk about property damage. Spend a few minutes going around unplugging appliances that will not be in use.  In case of a storm, your appliances will be protected from power surges, and possible fires. Turn down the thermostat so the a/c or heater isn’t working constantly. This will save you money, but it will also help prevent something from going wrong while you are away, only to come home to a flooded a/c unit or a burned heating element.

If you’re going to be away for an extended amount of time, you’ll want to consider turning off the main water valve to your home, including sprinkler units, especially in the winter time when ice can break water pipes.

Remove toys and other items from your yard that might cause damage to your home, like windows or your roof, in the case of severe weather.

Taking a few moments to safeguard your home will allow you to take a vacation without worrying about what is going on with your valuables. Do the work beforehand so you can rightfully relax while you’re away!

We also recommend that you give your neighbor your insurance agent contact info. Should something happen such as water damage, you will want your agent to begin handling the claim to prevent further damage.

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