Whether they go camping, stay at a luxury resort or visit family in far-flung destinations, more than two-thirds of Americans travel away from their homes during the summer months. So what can you do to ensure your home is safe while you’re enjoying your time away?
Your best and first defense should be your neighbors. Inform them that you are going away and ask them to collect your mail while you’re gone (mail piling up is a surefire sign telling burglars that no one is home.) Ask them to keep watch over your home and report anything that looks amiss. You might also want to pause your newspaper delivery or ask your neighbors to pick up your daily newspapers.
Next, think about home security: do you have an alarm installed? What about security cameras? These can deter would-be thieves, especially if you prominently place a sign or sticker outside your home indicating that you have these systems in place.
Next, think about dangers inside the home – electrical fires, water damage and other potential problems. Think about unplugging some appliances and switching your water supply off at the main. Check all fire detectors – are the batteries in good working order? Set off one of your fire alarms, walk outside and close the door. Would your neighbors be able to hear if there was a fire in your home? Remember, the sooner someone is alerted to an emergency, the sooner they can call for help.
You’ll also want to take a careful look at your insurance coverage – what is covered by your homeowners insurance? Do you need personal property, flood, theft or vandalism insurance? Do you receive any discounts for having a security system or fire alarms? If you find gaps in your coverage, you’ll want to cover them before leaving for vacation. Contact your local insurance agent for more information on the insurance you need.
With the proper precautions and adequate insurance coverage, you can ensure that your home will be protected while you are away on vacation. Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy the break… you’ve earned it!