Our partners at Allstate Insurance: John Michael Insurance Group have some excellent tips for home safety when traveling as part of our At Home Series. For other articles in this series, click here and here.
Many families plan their vacations around the school Spring Break. If your vacation will take you away from your home for more than a long weekend, please consider these tips!
The key to protecting your home from burglars is to make it appear as if you’ve never left.
- Either stop your mail and newspaper or make arrangements for someone to take them in
- Postpone any parcel deliveries until after your return
- Have someone mow the lawn
Enlist the neighbors! Encourage them to park in your driveway. And don’t forget to provide them with:
- House keys
- Alarm codes
- Keys to any cars left at home
- Emergency contact information
Ask them to watch your home and take care of small tasks such as:
- Taking in flyers or door hangers left on the front porch
- Opening and/or closing drapes and curtains
- Checking for phone messages
- Placing your garbage can at the curb on garbage pickup day
- Alert the police department and, if you have a security system, your alarm company, that your home will be unoccupied
- Set up timers to lamps and a radio, and schedule them so that they lights and sounds mimic your normal routine
- Disconnect small appliances, computers, televisions and media centers to protect them from power surges
- Turn off the water to the washing machine and any other appliances as appropriate
- Check that the toilets are not running water
- Adjust the furnace and water heater
- Turn down the ringers on the phones
- Do not change the greeting on your answering machine to reflect that you’re away
- Lock up valuables, important papers and firearms
- Move expensive items out of sight of the windows
- Double check locks on all doors and windows, including the door to the attached garage
AND – don’t forget the social media!
- Don’t use social media to announce to the world that you’re on vacation – caution your family that they should not include any discussion of their pending vacation in their online chatter
- Don’t change your status to reflect that you are away and don’t upload vacation pictures until your return
By following these few simple steps, your home will be that much safer while you are away. However, the ultimate protection for your home, car, and valuables is having exceptional insurance coverage. Visit our page for a quote to ensure your most treasured items are adequately covered.
John Michael is an Allstate agency owner in Eden Prairie, Minnesota serving the Twin Cities. He understands the unique needs of customers’ households, so he can help them assess the potential risks they face and provide personalized guidance to help protect what matters most to them. He also helps customers recover from unexpected losses and assist them in preventing them from happening. To find out more, visit his agency website here.