Written By: John McLeish
So you’ve arranged your travel insurance as per our last post (congratulations!) and you’ll soon head out. Whether you’re leaving home for a day or a month, you want to make sure your property is as safe and secure as it can be.
Interestingly, three of the top tips are things you should NOT do: do not broadcast your plans on social media. More people can see our Facebook and Twitter feeds than we probably realize. Similarly, do not change your voice-mail recording to announce that you’re out of town. Finally, do not leave any light on 24/7; it’s a signal to burglars that you’re not home. Investing in timers is prudent.
So what should you do to help deter break-ins, vandalism or damage?
- Have a friend or neighbour check in, ideally daily. He or she can bring in the mail and newspaper (if you haven’t put deliveries on hold, a wise option), turn different lights off and on, and make sure there’s nothing remiss with faucets/water pipes, etc.
- Unplug everything you can, to protect your computer, television and other items from electrical surges.
- Install a motion-detector light outside, if you don’t already have one.
- Depending on the season and length of your absence, make sure you’ve arranged for someone to shovel your driveway and sidewalk or maintain your lawn.
- If you have a safe-deposit box, put your valuables in it, including paperwork such as your will. If you don’t have a safe-deposit box, consider leaving such items with a trusted friend or neighbour.
- If you’re going to be gone for more than a week, in this climate and at this time of year, you should turn off your internal water valve to prevent pipes bursting.
- Do you have a neighbour who might be able to park his or her car in your driveway while you’re gone? Invite them to do so; the more inhabited the place looks, the safer.
Finally, before you leave, make sure all your doors and windows are locked. If you have a home security system, don’t head out without turning it on. Now, happy travels!