When you’re away from home on vacation or traveling for work, your home is more vulnerable. Not only might it be more attractive to thieves and vandals, it can be at risk from fire and water damage from a broken pipe. Here are some ways you can safeguard your home in your absence.
Leave a Few Lights On
At minimum, when you’re away from home, leave a few lights on, so it looks like someone is present in the house. Try to replicate your normal schedule to anyone watching your house from outside.
There are sophisticated timers on the market for indoor and outdoor lighting that make this easy.
Install a Security System
A step up is to install a home security system. It used to be that security systems were for the very wealthy. But, nowadays home security is extremely affordable and well worth the expense.
Consider installing door and window alarms in your home if you travel frequently or live in an area with higher crime. These will protect you when you’re at home, too.
Most systems these days will connect with an alarm company if you’re not home, and some also ring the local police department. They can usually be controlled remotely via your mobile phone, and if you add security cameras, you can see images even if you’re halfway across the globe.
Use Smart Home Smoke Alarms
Likewise, smart home smoke alarms can alert you on your phone if they are triggered in your absence. Many will also dial 911 for you – vital if you are not at home when a fire starts. Many of these systems are practically as easy to use as conventional smoke alarms.
When you’re not at home, unplug appliances and electronics, especially those that generate heat, like toasters, toaster ovens, coffee makers, and small electric heaters. Unplugging appliances when you’re not using them can also save you money on your electric bill.
Install a shut-off valve for your clothes washing machine, and be sure the water supply is closed off any time you’re not using the machine, not just when you’re away long term.
Leave Heat Running in Winter
It might be tempting to shut off your heat to save money if you’re gone for a while in winter. But, this can be a huge mistake.
Keeping your home warm prevents pipes from freezing and therefore prevents burst pipes and massive water damage. Set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit when away from home, especially in winter.
If you are leaving your home for an extended period or if you have a seasonal home you don’t use for months at a time, talk to your plumber about shutting off and draining your water system.
Use a Housesitter
Having a neighbor check in on your house periodically can help you make sure everything is okay and provide an added measure of security. Even better, use a housesitter to stay in your home in your absence.
You can even find housesitters who will also take care of pets. While some sitters charge a fee, there are now sites where you can find free, vetted housesitters with great references – local university students who like a home environment and people who love to travel or are checking out new cities before moving there.
Your home and your belongings are your greatest assets. Follow these tips for home security when you’re away, and don’t forget to take out a homeowner policy, which also covers renters. Contact J. K. Meadors & Co today at 405-377-0000 and we’ll help you find the best homeowner policy, so you can relax whether you’re home or away traveling.