Whether it’s a month, a week, or a couple of days, leaving your home and belongings unattended while you’re out of town can result in unfortunate consequences if you’re not adequately prepared. From burglaries to power surges, there are a number of unforeseen events that can transpire during your time away.
Before locking up and driving away, make sure you’ve taken precautions to maintain home security and prevent damage to your property and belongings. Here are a few ways to keep your home protected while you’re away:
It may seem obvious, but make sure you lock all openings to your home before leaving. According to data provided by ADT, the most common point of entry for burglars is the front door, with 34 percent of burglars walking right in because the door is left unlocked. Unsecured mail slots and pet doors also provide a perfect opportunity for a burglar to gain access to your home. Be sure to lock your windows, side doors and back doors as well.
INSTALL AN ALARM SYSTEM
A home security system helps bring peace of mind and may even lead to a discount on your homeowners insurance policy. Studies have shown that alarm systems deter crime, with up to 60% of burglars likely to avoid homes where one is installed. If you don’t have an alarm system, consider installing fake security cameras and displaying security company signs in order to fool burglars.
DON’T LEAVE A SPARE KEY UNDER THE MAT
Whether it’s under your welcome mat, flowerpot, or somewhere else, leaving a spare key outside of your home just makes it easier for burglars to break in. Instead, ask a neighbor or friend to hold onto your spare key for emergencies and safekeeping. You could also purchase a push button lock box that requires a combination to open and inconspicuously mount it outside your home.
UNPLUG UNNECESSARY ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES
You never know when a power surge may occur, and they are capable of causing extensive damage to your plugged-in electronics and outlets. That’s why it is a good idea to unplug any nonessential electrical equipment before leaving town, or make sure they are plugged into surge protectors. Faulty electrical outlets and outdated appliances can also lead to an increased chance of electrical fires, which may result in fire damage to your home. In each year in 2015 through 2019, fire departments responded to an average of 46,700 house fires involving electrical failure or malfunction, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Sharing your stunning beach vacation photos and checking into your resort’s location on Facebook or Instagram may be an exciting way to share your experience with your friends, but it can also reveal to potential thieves that you’re out of town and your house is empty. The safest thing to do is refrain from posting details about your trip until you return, but if you do choose to share vacation photos while you’re away, make sure your sharing details are set to “Friends Only.”
STOP NEWSPAPER AND MAIL DELIVERY
There’s nothing to alert a potential burglar to your absence more than a huge stack of newspapers on your doorstep. Before leaving town, be sure to contact your newspaper provider to temporarily suspend delivery. Mailboxes can also be targets for thieves, so make sure to stop your mail or have a neighbor pick it up to avoid it being stolen.
ABOUT OUR TEAM
If you’re looking for a public adjuster in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or northern Wisconsin, K-Factor Advocates has a skilled team of professionals that specialize in insurance claim negotiation, policy language and interpretation, and claims estimating. The K-Factor team has helped hundreds of clients navigate the challenges of the claims process, securing fair settlements in order to restore their damaged property.