Travelling this summer? Make sure your home has a much less exciting time than you do, by protecting it from theft, damage, or some force majeure. A few simple precautions will have you well on your way to protecting your home while on vacation.
Enlist your friends: Even just a simple check on the home can go a long way, and a lot of home insurance policies require you take this measure if you’re gone for a certain period of time. Give your friend the spare key you usually keep hidden (you don’t want to make it easy for any theifs), and give them a simple list of things to check on, so they don’t have to think about it:
- Walk around the exterior, checking gate latches and windows
- Pick up the mail
- Walk through the inside, especially to spots where you have CO alarms
- Take care of the lawn, especially if on an extended period of vacation
You can also alert the neighbourhood watch, who may extend their walking patrol past your home. If you have an alarm system, make sure to give the codes to your friend! You should also tell the company that you’ll be away, and the contact info of whomever is checking on your property.
Not so social: It’s tempting to post an airport selfie and regular beach updates, but the fewer the people who know about your trip, the better. On public profiles like Twitter, it’s an invitation for discussion. Loose lips sink ships!
A few measures: Deterring problems is actually one of the simplest ways you can control your home’s safety. A timer for lights, checking if valuables are visible from the window, and removing the garage door opener from your car are all easy ways of preventing theft. You should also unplug electronics, so they’re not damaged by a power surge; when the colder weather rolls around, you’ll need to turn off the water.
Krista Kehoe, Calgary real estate agent & REALTOR®