Your tickets are booked, the visas are approved, and your bags are packed, but is your home protected for your next trip?
Amid the activity of preparing for your next big adventure, you can easily forget about the important task of securing your home while you are away. An emergency at home can ruin the most thoroughly planned trip, so don’t simply hope for the best.
Follow the simple tips below to keep your home secure when you’re abroad.
MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THERE’S SOMEONE AT HOME
Overgrown lawns, unshoveled walkways, and uncollected newspapers are all signs to burglars that no one is home.
Avoid making your house a burglar’s target by arranging for a neighbour, friend, or local service to mow your lawn during the summer and spring, shovel your walkway during the winter, and collect mail.
If a friend or neighbour is not available, you can use a service such as Alfred to take care of these tasks.
CONSIDER FINDING A HOUSE SITTER TO CARE FOR YOUR HOME AND PETS
When you’re away from home it can be comforting to know that there’s someone there, looking after the day-to-day tasks that you’d usually keep on top of yourself. You may even be thinking about retiring abroad and want to split your time between two locations.
If you have a pet and plan to be away often, a house sitter can save you the cost of kennelling your animals, and reduce any anxiety or stress felt by your pets during your absence.
Check out the handy house sitting guides below to find out more.
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USE A SMART THERMOSTAT TO REGULATE YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
Your HVAC system can malfunction in several ways while you’re travelling, which can cause significant damage to your home and valuables. Turning your HVAC system off completely can cause frozen and burst pipes along with microbial growth; leaving it on to run continuously can incur unnecessary energy costs.
Using a smart thermostat has many benefits and is the best of both worlds, allowing you to keep your home’s climate safe while maximizing energy efficiency while you are away from home. A programmable thermostat can be controlled remotely, making it the ideal option for avid travellers.
LEAVE A DETAILED EMERGENCY PLAN WITH YOUR NEIGHBOUR OR HOUSE SITTER
In any event, you should let your neighbours and friends know your travel dates and arrange for one of them to check in on your home at least once a week. If something goes wrong, such as a pipe leaking, time is of the essence for getting it fixed to avoid further damage.
Create an emergency contact list with electricians, plumbers, and contractors. Leave the list with your trusted friend or neighbour.
DOCUMENT VALUABLE ITEMS IN YOUR HOME IN CASE YOU NEED TO MAKE AN INSURANCE CLAIM
Even if you take all the correct precautions before you leave, accidents can still happen. In the case of an emergency situation, your homeowner’s insurance will help you cover the cost of damages. However, insurance companies will often ask for pictures to prove your claim is legitimate.
To receive everything you are owed, you can properly document your home and possessions in a number of ways. If you fail to follow through and an emergency does happen, you can be left fighting an uphill battle against your insurance company to get everything you are entitled to receive.
The last surprise you want to deal with on your next trip is an emergency situation that you haven’t prepared for. By following the simple tips above, you will be ready for any situation, giving you the peace of mind to enjoy your travels without worry.
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