Being on the road for an extended period of time is a great adventure, but it can come with a significant amount of worries. When you are leaving your home empty while you are traveling, you need some peace of mind to make sure that your home is secure and safe from any potential damage.
Here are some tips to keep your home safe while traveling:
Make Sure Nothing Is Covering Heat Sources
While you are away, especially during cold seasons, it is important to make sure that you set your heat to turn on periodically to ensure that the pipes don’t freeze. But at the same time, you need to guarantee that any items around the home are away from any potential fire hazards. When in doubt, make sure you turn everything off. The rule is to keep items at least 3 feet away from any potential electrical or fire source.
Identify Other Common Fire Risks
Even if the property is empty, there is still the potential for common fire risks. You may have an undiagnosed pest problem. They can be an issue if you have packed up a lot of your possessions, and the property appears empty. A pest may very well move in unnoticed and could chew through wires, which can cause electrical fires.
Another, although less likely, fire risk is arson. This can be difficult to predict, but if you are leaving your property vacant and you are showing the signs of an empty property, this can very well be a red rag to a bull. To control any fire risks in your property, you need to ensure your fire alarm is working properly. Change the batteries before you leave, but also make sure you test the fire alarm. It’s also possible to get smart fire alarms that you can operate remotely.
Remove Ice From Walkways
During the winter, the potential for slips, trips, and falls due to snow and ice increases. When you leave the property, make sure that you remove ice and snow from the walkways, but also make sure you put down a deicer to prevent ice from forming. There are a wide variety of chemical deicers containing potassium chloride and magnesium, which are the key ingredients to prevent ice from forming. If you have a driveway, you can lay a waterproof material, such as a plastic tarp, to prevent the formation of ice and will stop snow or water from sticking to it.
Secure Your Home
When you leave a property vacant, you might worry that you are leaving your home unguarded, which could cause potential burglaries. Securing your home is all down to a handful of simple components.
Set up a home security system (if you don’t already have one), as this is the frontline protection against any burglars. Many modern home security systems operate through smart technology and can be accessed through a mobile phone.
You should also think about keeping your valuables out of sight. When you are away from home for a long period of time, you need to make sure that your home looks occupied. Leaving your curtains and blinds open during the day can make sure that you put across this message. By removing any signs of valuables from within the window and putting them in a small safe or out of sight in less obvious hiding places, you aren’t alerting potential thieves to your lack of presence in the home.
If you are going away for a long time, one simple tactic that you need to follow is not tell everybody you are going away. Many people post on social media that they are going away, but if your profile isn’t secure enough, anybody could read your comments.
You should also properly lock all external entryways and ensure that both front and back doors are secure. If you think your doors are flimsy and weak, installing a deadlock or cam lock adds an extra layer of security.
Ask a Neighbor to Keep an Eye on Your House While You’re Away
One of the best ways to keep your home protected is to speak to a neighbor to keep up appearances of an occupied home. By asking a neighbor to periodically remove letters from your doormats and the letterbox, as well as basic duties like watering your plants, will not indicate an absent owner.
What to Do if You Come Home to a Damaged House
If, despite securing your property, you come back to a damaged home, the first thing to do is not panic. If you come home to damaged property, you need to secure the living space as best as you can.
If you have suffered a break-in, you can secure your windows with sheets of wood. You can also contact a contractor right away to secure the property. You should also consider changing your locks by contacting a locksmith or purchasing locks through a local hardware store.
Make it priority to call the authorities and report the damage. You can get a log number but make sure that you and your loved ones are safe before you report the damage. If you don’t know when the property was damaged, or you’ve been away for a while, there could be the potential for the culprits to return.
You also need to get in contact with your insurance company to report the damage. The insurance company will ask you for an inventory of items that have been stolen or damaged. The best thing you can do right now is to make as comprehensive a list as possible, but only if it is safe to do so.
If you come home to damaged property, it can be very stressful. There’s a lot to consider during a time like this. But if you have done everything you can to secure the property, there are ways to make sure that your home is safe and sound. It’s a common thought we all have when we are away from our home, but it is possible to secure our property.