How to Protect Your Home While Traveling

It’s been a long winter and we are all starting to look forward to Spring.  If you are one of the lucky ducks that gets to travel during spring break, it is important to properly protect your home while you are away. Home burglaries, water and fire disasters are not fun to think about, but often do happen when homeowners are gone.  So, in order to fully enjoy your awesome trip that you have planned, we have put together this Traveling Checklist to assist you.

Make it look like someone is at home

With social media updates, it is pretty easy for would-be-burglars to know if someone is away from home. So here are a few tips and tricks to make it look like someone is at your house, even when you are away:

  1. Park a car in your driveway. Make certain, though, to take out all valuable items, key FOB, and garage door opener.  And, make certain that the car door is locked!
  2. Stop all mail and newspapers. If your trip is last minute and can’t do this, have a neighbor grab your mail and newspapers for you.
  3. Look into lawn maintenance while you are away. If it’s the winter, have the driveway & sidewalk shoveled. If it’s in the summer, have someone mow your lawn.
  4. Put a lamp near the window on a timer light so the house isn’t pitch black 24/7 while you are away.

Adjust your thermostat

The worst thing to come home to is burst pipes! So, if you are vacationing in the winter, don’t lower the temperature below 55 degrees. Even though it seems tempting to save a few bucks and turn off the heat while you aren’t home, this could hurt you in the long run and cost you money. Keeping your home warm all winter – even when you’re not at home – prevents pipes from freezing.

Have a friend or family member check on your house

While you are out of town, it is a good idea to have someone keep track of your home. They can alert you – and the authorities, if necessary – of any issues that happen while you are away. They can check for burst pipes, broken windows, etc…

Lock your oven control panel

This is a new one that I just learned from a local restoration company, ServiceMaster. Did you know that there have been house fires from homeowner’s pets jumping on the range and accidentally switching the range on? So, as an added precaution – especially if you are leaving pets home alone – lock the oven and surface burners.

Unplug electronics & appliances

It is a good idea to always unplug all computers, televisions, and any other accessory that won’t be used while you are out of town. This will not only help you reduce your energy consumption, but will also protect these items in case of electrical storm.  It is important to note that you should not refrigerator, automatic timers, sump pump or any of your security systems.

Turn off important water valves

To prevent risk of water damage while you are out of town, locate all your water valves for your dishwasher, sink and washing machine.  Turn them off so that water isn’t able to flow into the pipes.

And, most importantly, have fun on your upcoming vacation!  And, as always, if you have any questions or comments on any of your insurance needs, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Langlois Insurance Agency.  We always love to hear from our customers!

Warmest Regards,

Matt Langlois