Protecting Your Home When You're on Vacation

We are now into that time of year when vacations are planned and time away from home is almost a given!  Sometimes that time away can be for a long weekend, one week or even more.  It’s important to secure your home and make sure your time away does not somehow invite vandals and thieves to make themselves unwanted guests.

Here are a few tips to follow that may save you from returning from vacation to an unwelcomed surprise:

  1.        This is easy enough - have a trusted friend, or neighbor keep an eye on your house.  This means giving them a house key and having them check it out, both inside and out, after a couple of days of being away and daily after that.  They need to bring in your mail too! If you have an alarm system, provide them with your security code so they would be able to have access in an emergency.  If a bad storm comes through, they can contact you if there is damage to your home or other property while you’re gone.
  2.        While being on social media and announcing your trip plans is a fun thing to do, it also alerts thieves to the fact that you’ll be gone.  Remind your kids too, not to post all kinds of photos while you’re away.  Wait until you get back to post those vacation photos!
  3.        Try to remember to check your hoses and faucets before you leave, for leaks and drips.  If you don’t turn the main water line off when you’re gone, a broken hose at your refrigerator/freezer, dishwasher or clothes washer can mean disaster when you return.  I actually had a client come home from a one week vacation to a broken refrigerator hose.  It proved to be a costly claim!
  4.        If you’ll be gone more than a week, try to get a friend, lawn service or neighbor to mow your lawn.  An unkept lawn is another indication to thieves that you are not around.
  5.        Consider unplugging your electronics.  A storm with lightning can short out just about anything, and while it’s a pain to have to re-set the electronics when you return, it’s much easier than replacing them altogether. 

It seems like we wait all year for these few months of warmth, sun, and vacations!  But keep in mind, it’s best to be prepared before you leave than come home to damage that could have been avoided.  Enjoy the summer! 

Carol Tachon

Personal Insurance Advisor

Madison Office