It’s important that you take some safety measures to protect your house while you are away on vacation.

Before you leave:

Phone a friend. Ask friends to stop by your property periodically while you’re away. They should walk around the outside of your home to check your windows, doors and locks. Then, they should walk through the inside to make sure everything appears normal. Ideally, someone could simply stay at your house while you’re away.

Look “at home.” If someone can’t stay at your house while you’re away, you’ll want to make sure it appears that you’re at home to prevent potential trespassers from believing you’re away. For example, you may want to set a few lamps in the house on timers so they turn on for a few hours at night. Someone should collect your mail and bring your garbage bins in and out, too—a stuffed mailbox and garbage bins left on the side of the road are indicators that your house is unoccupied. And, if it snows, you should hire someone to come clean it up, or ask a friend to leave fresh tracks from a car and feet in the driveway.

Unplug, empty and drain. Remember to unplug your electronic devices while you’re away—barring your refrigerator and freezer, and the lamps that we suggest you keep on timers. Unplugging electronics that aren’t being used will lessen the risk of an electrical fire in your home while you’re away. Also, empty your refrigerator and cupboards of anything that will spoil before you come home. Lastly, shut off the main water line in your home, and empty the pipes by flushing the toilets and running the water. Winters in the Northeast are frigid—if a frozen pipe bursts, it can cause costly damage to your home.

Call your independent insurance agent. We hope that you won’t need to file a homeowners claim when you come home from your travels. But, we are here for you if you need us after you return. Before you leave, give us a call so we can review your homeowners policy and we can make sure that you have the optimal coverage to protect your home year-round.

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