Before you make your holiday travel plans, get your home
vacation-ready with this before-you-go checklist.
Whether you’re preparing for a summer trip or planning your holiday
travel, it’s important to vacation-proof your home before you leave. That’s
because while you’re enjoying your time away, your home is vulnerable to a
variety of threats, including fire, storm damage and burglary. But taking a few
simple steps now can help keep your home and belongings safe while you’re away.
Follow these before-you-go tips to make sure you don’t have any
unwelcome—and expensive—surprises upon your return.
advertise you’re away.
The less occupied a home looks, the more inviting it is to
burglars. Whether you’re gone for a few days or a few weeks, try to make your
home look like someone is coming and going on a regular basis with these simple tips:
- Put your mail and newspaper
delivery on hold or ask a neighbour to pick up your deliveries each day.
Nothing announces “no one home” like an overflowing mailbox and a pile of
unread newspapers at the door.
- Use automatic timers to turn
a few house lights on and off in the evening. Your cell phone may even
have an app or two that allows you to control lights remotely.
- Arrange to have the lawn and
yard work kept up in your absence.
- Let your neighbours use your
driveway, creating the appearance that somebody is home.
life hard for burglars.
According to the Insurance Information Institute,
research shows that
if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, the burglar
will go elsewhere. A few simple precautions can slow burglars just enough to
make them give up on you and move on.
- Install simple security devices, such as window
locks, grates, bars and bolts.
- Install a motion-detecting exterior
light near the back of the house or near hidden entrances.
- Trim trees and shrubs so intruders
have fewer hiding places.
- Reconsider leaving a
“hidden” key outside your home. Chances are most burglars know just where
to look for it.
Do a home
You can lower the risk of fire and water damage by making sure
your systems are all in good working order.
- Check your fire and security
- Remember to unplug
non-essential appliances when you leave.
- If you are going on an
extended holiday, turn the water off at the main valve.
- If you have a sump pump,
test it to make sure it’s working. (Just pour a bucket of water into the
sump pit to make the water level higher, and then watch what happens.)
- Maintain adequate heat or
air conditioning to avoid extreme temperatures during your absence.
- Check weather stripping
around your windows and doors to avoid leaks and water damage.
for the worst.
No matter how much you prepare, there is still the chance your home
could be damaged or robbed while you’re away. While you may not be able to
prevent everything, you can at least prepare for it.
- Let a neighbour know you are
going out of town and make sure they know how to reach you, should anything
happen to your home.
- Check in with your HUB
representative to make sure you have appropriate coverage for your home
and belongings. A yearly review is a good idea, whether you’re traveling
- If you have valuable items, such as artwork or jewellery,
know that it might not be covered under your homeowners policy. You may
need a separate valuable articles rider. This will ensure you are
reimbursed the true value of your items if lost or destroyed
due to fire, damage or theft.
- Document all valuable items so
you’re not scrambling to remember what you own and what was lost.
- Be sure to bring your HUB customer
service contact information with you. If you get a call from a neighbour
telling you your home has been damaged, let your HUB broker know as soon