Travel looks very different with COVID-19. Before you leave check each state’s COVID-19 policies. Be sure to comply with all mandates and quarantine procedures. Below are a few tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away.
- Make your house look lived in: Ask friends or hire someone to frequently check on your home. Give them a to-do list with household tasks, such as:
— Water the plants
— Keep the yard tidy
— Remove the snow from the lawn
— Check for damage, such as water damage
— Pick up your mail
• Remember to do all the above tasks yourself before you leave. You could also stop or forward email delivery before leaving home.
• Stop newspaper delivery to your house.
• Install timers that periodically turn on and off interior lights and the TV every evening.
• Leave your curtains as you normally keep them.
- Secure your windows, doors, and garage:
• Before you leave, double check all safety latches on the windows and exterior door locks.
• Install security films on windows. These make your windows tougher to break.
• Turn off your garage door to prevent thieves from opening it with a universal remote.
- Never make your vacation plans public:
• Avoid posting your plans on social networks, such as Facebook.
• Don’t say you’re on vacation on your answering machine and voicemail.
- 4. Install security features:
• A security system includes cameras, alarms, motion detectors, and exterior lights that run on timers.
• At the very least, install fake security cameras. They are designed to look authentic.
- Secure your valuables. Keep things like documents and jewelry in a fireproof safe or bank safety deposit box.
- Review your home insurance:
• Recheck what’s covered and what’s not. For example, check if you have coverage if you’re not home for a period of time.
• Keep an inventory of your valuables and take photos of them. This helps file an insurance claim if any item gets damaged or stolen.
- Have large and reflective numbers on your house and mailbox. In case of an emergency, your numbers will help the police find your home more easily. Burglars prefer homes that are hard to identify as it can buy them time to run.
- Don’t leave a portable GPS in your car if you’re parking at the airport. It may let thieves know that you’re not home and give them a convenient map to your house.
- Prevent water damage while you’re away. Water damage from undetected leaks can ruin walls, floors, and ceilings, and leads to expensive repair costs. Here are prevention tips:
• Shut off the main water supply valve next to your water meter. Or at the very least, turn off the water to washing machines and dishwashers.
• If you’ve turned off the water supply, drain your pipes of all water. To do that, open the faucets, and flush your toilet to clear the water from the tank and bowl.
• If your water supply remains on, have your local contact stop by and let water drip slowly from exterior faucets when temperatures plummet. This prevents pipes from freezing. Another tip to prevent frozen pipes is to keep your thermostat at 55 degrees or higher.
• If your home has an older steam heating system, it may or may not be safe to turn off its water supply. Consult with a heating professional.
• If your home is protected by a fire sprinkler system, DO NOT turn off its water supply.
- Unplug unnecessary electronics:
• Electronics like your computer, toaster, and oven would consume electricity needlessly. They could also get damaged during power surges and provoke a fire.
• However, leave ON the security devices that have a timer.
- Make sure your fireplace flue is closed and locked before departure. Animals, such as bats, birds, and squirrels are known to get inside this way.
- Have your roof inspected and clean your gutters to help prevent ice from building up.
Taking these steps will help keep your property safer while you’re gone. Besides, you’ll have more peace of mind during your vacation knowing your home is secure. Safe travels!
Should your home experience damage give our offices a call at Cincinnati 513-897-8990 or Dayton 937-4019700.