Going on vacation? Keep your home safe

May 22, 2014
2 minute read

When you go away on holiday, it’s important to keep your house safe till you return.  Here are 4 ways to help keep everything in order, inside and out, while you are gone.

1. Keep the inside of your home safe:

  • Check your insurance policy for rules about safety when away from your house.
  • Set timers to your lights to help your home look occupied.
  • Protect your appliances from power surges and cut your electricity bill:  unplug your TV, computer, microwave, etcetera.
  • Turn down your thermostat and your water heater.
  • Examine your house from the street. How easy is it to see valuables from outside? You might want to conceal items before you leave.

2. Safety proof the structure of your house:

  • Ask a friend to stop by to check your faucets and show them where the main water shut off is in case of emergency.
  • Install a power surge protector for electricity.
  • Put a metal bar or piece of wood on the track of sliding doors or windows.
  • Deadbolt all your doors.
  • Keep the heat on to protect your pipes from freezing in the winter.
  • Frost your garage windows to cut visibility.
  • Fasten a C-clamp by the rollers on the tracks of your sliding garage doors.

3. Look after the outside of your house:

  • Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up in your mailbox or front of your house. This is a sign that no one is home.
  • In the summer, arrange to have your yard work done (water lawn, cut grass, weed garden).
  • In the winter, have your driveway and walkways cleared of snow.
  • Remove your spare key from its hiding spot.
  • Install motion sensor lights around the outside of your house.
  • Let your insurance company and the local police station know of your absence. Give them the contact information of anyone that will be by your house to help care for it.

4. Use your community wisely:

  • Wait until after you come home to tell your Facebook friends, blog followers and Twitter followers about your adventures out of town.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour or Neighbourhood Watch program to keep an eye out on your house. In case of emergencies, give a trusted friend or family member:
    • a copy of your travel itinerary
    • your contact information
    • car and house keys, and
    • home insurance information.

For peace of mind while you’re away, your mail can be held temporarily in a secure place with Canada Post’s Hold Mail service. An easy and convenient way to protect your house, and your mail, while you’re gone.

Do you have any extra tips for safety when you go out of town?  What do you do to protect your home?  Leave a comment below.