5 steps to secure your home when you’re away
Step 1: Ask a friend or relative to check on your house
If you’ll be away for a long period, ask someone you trust to keep an eye on your house. In case of emergencies, make sure they have:
- a copy of your travel plans
- your contact information
- your car and house keys
- your home insurance information
Step 2: Think prevention
- Create an updated inventory of household valuables like jewellery and store small items or important documents in a safe deposit box.
- Make sure that your home security system is on and share the code with the person who’s checking on your home while you’re away.
- Don’t share your travel plans on social media.
Step 3: Change the settings on your utilities
- Install a power surge protector, and unplug all non-essential appliances: TV, sound system, computer, microwave, coffee makers, etc.
- Turn down the temperature on your water heater.
- In the summer, turn up the thermostat to 4 degrees above your normal setting so the air conditioning doesn’t come on needlessly. In the winter, set the heat to a temperature only a few degrees lower than usual to avoid freezing pipes.
Step 4: Prevent damage and theft
- Show the person who’s checking on your home where to shut off the water supply in case of emergency.
- Lock all doors and windows, including the garage door, shed, and basement windows.
- Remove your spare key from its hiding spot—burglars know where to look!
Step 5: Give your house a lived-in look
- Set timers on outdoor and indoor lights and leave some blinds or drapes open to deter intruders.
- Make sure that your newspapers and mail are picked up or put on hold.
- In the summer, arrange to have your yard work done. In the winter, have your driveway and walkways cleared of snow.
- Leave a car in the driveway, especially if you normally park there.
If you’re insured with The Personal, sign up for the Alert program. It sends alerts to your phone if there’s a water leak or a risk of freezing pipes in your home. You can even have alerts sent to the person who’s checking on your home while you’re away.
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The Personal refers to The Personal General Insurance Inc. in Quebec and The Personal Insurance Company in all other provinces and territories.
The information and advice in this article are provided for informational purposes only. The Personal shall not be liable for any damages arising from any reliance upon such information or advice. The Personal recommends using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, expert advice.