Protect Your Home While On Vacation

by Rachel Laurendeau on January 29, 2013

Have you had it with winter? If you’re like millions of people, you will likely be heading out for a holiday this winter. Before leaving, there are some simple steps to take which will help protect your home while you are away.


Check your insurance policy. Most insurance policies will have a clause indicating how long a home can be unoccupied. If your policy has such a clause, you’ll have to ensure that a reliable relative or neighbor comes inside to check on things at regular intervals while you are away. Alternately, you could hire a house sitter to stay in your home and keep an eye on things for the duration of your holiday.

Set your home alarm system.If you have a home alarm, be sure to set it. You can call your monitoring company ahead of time and let them know you will be away and supply them with your cell number or a number where you can be reached while on vacation. If you don’t currently have an alarm system, having one installed is an excellent home improvement investment.

Keep it dry. If you have a basement that is prone to dampness or you live in an area where spring thaw can come quickly, having a plumbing service install a sump pump in your basement can save you from basement flooding and all of the potential damage that comes with it. You can even talk to your plumber and house alarm provider about connecting the sump pump to your alarm system and have additional monitoring that notifies you if there is water in the basement or if the furnace stops working, which could lead to frozen water pipes.

Light it up. If you have outdoor motion detector lights, make sure they are turned on to deter thieves. Since these are commonplace, most thieves won’t think there is someone turning on the light, what you’re really doing is lighting up a point of entry so they can be seen; making it less attractive for them to try to break in.

Having interior and exterior lights set up on programmable timers can make it look as though someone is home. I recommend a timer with a variety of programming options so that you have lights turning off and on at different times each day.

Have the snow cleared or the lawn cut. It quickly becomes apparent that people are away from home when there are several inches or snow in the driveway or the lawn is tall enough to lose a small child. Hire a snow removal company or a local kid to take care of the yard maintenance while you’re away.

Now that you’ve taken all of these precautionary steps, go, and enjoy your stress-free holiday.

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