Are you heading out on holiday this Winter season? Whether it’s an outing with the family—or a vacation to escape them—it’s important to make sure that your home is protected in your absence. We’ve prepared a mix of proactive and reactive tips to help you feel ready for anything, and worry-free during your next trip:
Install a Home Security System
Keeping your home safe shouldn’t just be a priority when you’re going out of town. Depending on your budget, home size and personal preferences, there are a variety of tech-based security packages available for purchase. From doorbell cameras to in-home video feeds, motion sensors and digital locks, take time to review this list of 2020’s top ten security home systems and find the package that best suits your needs.
Purchase Home Insurance
As a homeowner, purchasing insurance protection is one of the best proactive steps you can take to recover losses or protect against damage costs in the future. There are four key homeowner insurance policy forms to keep in mind as you make this valuable investment:
- HO-3: This is the most common home insurance policy form and covers the structure of your home and damage by perils not listed in your exclusion documents.
- HO-1: A complimentary policy form to cover additional perils not listed in your HO-3 form.
- HO-2: A broad policy form to cover a range of items not listed in the HO-1.
- HO-8: This form covers potential damages to older homes, with reimbursements paid in actual cash value.
Set Interior Light Timers
While it might seem like a simple task, set your interior lights to turn on and off based on when you would normally be in and out of your home to avoid the appearance of being on holiday. With smart home devices, you can trigger various light patterns to throw off individuals monitoring your neighborhood for regular “away from home” behaviors.
Want to stimulate the local neighborhood economy? If you are connected to a friend or neighbor with children, consider hiring their kids to regularly check on your home, monitor pets, water plants or clean interior rooms. A little extra cash goes a long way!
Disconnect Your Digital Devices
In the event of a power surge, connected digital devices may not only experience damage but cause an unwanted fire. Disconnect items like chargers, TVs and speakers to prevent potential disaster. In case of an electrical malfunction, prepare your home by installing up-to-date smoke detectors that will alert local fire officials in case of emergency.
Stop Newspaper and Mail Delivery
One of the biggest indicators that you’re away from home is accumulated mail. Boxes on the doorstep or a full mailbox are a quick indicator to burglars that no one is home. Consider forwarding or temporarily stopping your mail service while you’re out to prevent this issue from occurring.
Keep Your Home Tidy
Not only does it feel good to come home to a clean space, but tidying up is an important preventative measure to take when there’s a possibility of water damage. While it’s certainly not something to hope for, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Loose books, papers and items on the floor can not only suffer significant damage in a flood, but cause other complications in the clean-up process. Wires, personal devices and other pieces of technology should also be kept away from the floor for this same reason.
Protect Your Pipes
If you’re going on holiday during the colder months, it’s vital to keep your faucets dripping and prevent a potential pipe freeze. When this occurs, pipes will begin to expand and eventually break—leading to a flood and other significant home damages like interior damage and mold growth.