Preparing and Safeguarding Your Home When You Travel?
With all of the social distancing restrictions that have arisen in 2020, it might have been quite some time since you went on an overnight trip. However, as life slowly begins to open up again, people will soon be able to travel a lot more than they have recently. Not only that, with the holidays fast approaching, you might find yourself away from home significant amounts of time in the coming months.
Any time you leave your home, you expose it to the risk of vandalism, break-ins or undetectable hazards like burst pipes or sudden fires. In any of these cases, you run the risk of significant property damage, made worse by the fact that you weren’t there to control a developing issue.
On one hand, your homeowners insurance should help you recover from any unexpected damage that might arise in your absence. However, there’s a lot you can do before you take a trip to make sure these problems never occur.
Below, we’ve outlined a few steps you should consider taking when preparing your home as you plan to go away. By keeping these steps in mind, you can reduce the risks of any number of hazards that might threaten.
- Do not post your travel plans on social media. However, give a trusted family member or friend a spare key to the property. Ask them to check on the house periodically.
- Arrange for the post office to hold your mail, or have a friend collect it when they drop by. Also stop your newspaper delivery and have packages held until you return. Accumulated mail and papers could tip off potential thieves.
- Set timers around the house to turn off or on different lights from time to time.
- If you have a smart home system or a camera setup, make sure that it continuously records the property or is set to record motion. Keep your security system armed.
- Consider turning off the water, heat and power to certain areas of the home. You can also turn your air to an automatic setting so that it doesn’t run continuously during your absence.
- Put away valuables like electronics, jewelry and spare cash. Do not leave these items out on tables where someone could easily find them.
- Lock all your doors and windows (including upstairs and in basements.
- Move power tools, grills, lawn furniture and other decorations indoors or under a shelter.
- Lock all vehicles, storage sheds or other access points around the property.
- Close your blinds to preserve energy and keep people from looking inside.
Each of these tasks will make your home substantially safer during your travels and potentially help you avoid a damaging hazard. It is often simpler to prepare and feel assured of the best rather than to realize the worst has occurred while you were away.