Your bags are packed and you’re ready go. Finally, it’s vacation time! Whether you’re heading out on a quick getaway or an extended trip, taking the necessary precautions will help you avoid any unpleasant surprises when you get home. And since we’re here for your peace of mind, we’ve drawn up a handy list of things to do before you go.
1. Make it look like someone’s home
To protect your home while you’re away, pretend you’re still at home! Think of what would attract robbers. A good trick is to use programmable timers for your indoor and outdoor lights so that they go on and off just like they normally do. And be sure to ask someone to come by to pick up your mail, water your plants, and generally just check up on the place.
2. Be discreet on social media
Being excited about a trip and wanting to talk about it on social media is totally understandable, but it’s not a good idea. A Facebook post or a cue on your voice messaging system that lets people know you’ll be away could act as a beacon for ill intentioned visitors. Wait until you’re home to post photos and stories from your vacation.
3. Lock up and put things away
Before you go, make sure your doors, windows, garage, and shed are locked. Put away any outdoor accessories (garden, barbecue, etc.) that could be stolen or damaged in a windstorm. If you have an alarm system, activate it and let the alarm company know you’ll be away. Don’t leave keys hidden outside the house. Thieves know how to find them.
4. Take care of valuables
Put away any valuable objects (e.g., jewellery, important documents, electronic devices). You can even put some of them in a safe deposit box at your bank or credit union. Identifying valuables with antitheft markings is another excellent means of prevention, since it makes things more complicated for thieves and helps police do their job.
5. Prevent water damage
Water damage is the number one cause of insurance claims in Quebec. Coming home to a bathroom or basement full of water is a highly unpleasant experience! So take the time to shut off your water main and check your drains, gutters, check valve, and drain pump.
6. Prevent fires
If the power goes off and comes back on while you’re away, there are some appliances and devices that could start a fire. That’s why it’s always a good idea to cut the power supply to your water heater, TV, computer, and any other devices that have a sleep mode. Bonus: you’ll save on your electricity bill!
7. Know the risks
According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the most common offence in most Canadian cities is property crime. This includes theft, breaking and entering, burglary, vehicle theft, arson, and vandalism. In Canada, two of the offences most commonly reported by the police are breaking and entering and vehicle theft. That’s why security and prevention are so important.
8. Call your insurance company
Last but not least, don’t forget to let your damage insurance agent know you’ll be away. They’ll be able to explain your coverage and offer some advice. With some insurance policies, you actually have an obligation to inform your insurer of any extended absences. Since policies vary, it’s always best to call your agent and ask any questions you may have.
That’s it! Now you can rest easy when you leave home. Enjoy your trip!