Are you escaping to an island paradise or road trip across the province? No matter if you are travelling for a week or a month, the last thing you want to be worried about is something happening to your house while you are gone.
Thankfully there are simple ways to protect your home before your vacation.
Automate your house to look lived in
Having your home appear occupied is a great way to deter theft or sinister activity around your home. There are several ways to ensure your home doesn’t look empty while you are away.
Consider automating your home with smart technology. You can set up your interior and exterior lights to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn or set a routine for your blinds to open.
Use tech for extra security
With smartphones and smart homes, the monitoring of our homes has drastically improved in the last ten years. Thanks to sophisticated video monitoring security systems and video doorbells, we can have a bird’s eye view of our homes when we are away. Plus, with a smart doorbell, you can keep track of who is coming to your door and answer it from anywhere in the world.
Setting up a home monitoring system is relatively easy to do, but if you have professionally installed burglar and fire alarm systems with live monitoring, you can get extra savings on your home insurance.
Have a friend check-in
It is a good idea to have a trusted friend or family stay at your house or check on it regularly while on vacation. But don’t leave the spare key under the doormat or flowerpot. Instead, smart locks allow you to send a passcode to open the door without a key.
A friend can help handle garbage, stop mail from piling up, cut the grass or shovel the driveway, and make the house look occupied while you are away. Having someone park their car in your driveway can also give the appearance that someone is staying at your home while you are away.
In case of an emergency, make sure to leave them your emergency contact so they can reach you if needed.
Put your mail on hold
An overflowing mailbox and letters piled at your door are a clear sign no one is home. Always make sure to cancel or postpone any deliveries, so that parcels aren’t sitting outside your doorway. You can also ask a friend or neighbour to come by and collect anything delivered while you are away.
Set thermostat to vacation mode
While you might want to turn off the heat or air conditioner before your trip for extra savings, it is a bad idea. The thermostat can’t go below 15 Celsius to avoid your pipes freezing. You also need to set the temperature to not rise above 26 Celsius to prevent the potential of mould and mildew from developing.
Before you depart for your trip, it is time to investigate the options on your thermostat. Many have a vacation mode that can help you save money on your utility bill while protecting your house from getting too cold or hot.
For vacations eight consecutive days or longer, have a friend check your home’s thermostat at least once per week. During the heating season, this will protect against items freezing, such as water pipes.
Mind your valuables
Before you depart, take the time to hide expensive jewelry or important documents in a safe deposit box.
If you just bought some new fancy electronics, don’t leave the boxes outside with the garbage.
Remember to turn off the water
Turning off your water while you are away may sound like something you would only want to do in the winter, but it is recommended all year round by Popular Mechanics as it is the best way to avoid a burst pipe or a plumbing failure of any kind. Water damage can become extensive very quickly, even if you have someone checking on the house.
Hold off posting on social media
An upcoming trip may be exciting, but it’s best to keep it secret. Hold off on posting on social media until after you are home. If you have a public social media profile, you don’t want to advertise that your family is on vacation and your house is empty.
Alert the security company
Having a security system is a fantastic way to protect your home while out of town and can help you save on your home insurance.
Before you depart, it’s a good idea to alert your home security company when you will be on vacation. You’ll want to provide them with an emergency contact in case they can’t reach you and a problem occurs.
You’ve worked hard to plan and pay for your vacation. With a few key preparations before leaving, you can make sure that your home is safe and secure while you are away. If you want more information on protecting your home, get a quote online or speak to one of our licensed CAA Insurance Agents by calling 1-888-545-7254. CAA Members save 10%¹ on CAA Home Insurance.²
1 To qualify for the discount you must be a current CAA Member in good standing (CAA Membership dues paid in full by membership expiry date). Eligible CAA Members may qualify to receive a Member Loyalty Discount based on membership tenure and Roadside Assistance usage.
2 Property Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company. Certain conditions, limitations and underwriting guidelines apply.