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Protect Your Home During Vacation.

how to protect your home while on vacation released March 3, 2016 | Gulfstream

Summer is in full swing with cookouts, swim parties and of course, vacations. Whether you’re headed to Grandma’s house or the beach, take a “better safe than sorry” approach when it comes to your residence. Protecting your home means you can worry less while you are away.

We’ve outlined some tips and tricks for you before you leave home, so you can concentrate on sunscreen and plane tickets, instead of intruders and electricity bills.

A little help from my friends

It’s a great idea to ask for help from a neighbor, family friend, or even a hired hand to house-sit. Having someone check up on your home provides multiple benefits.

  • If an emergency occurs (like a broken water pipe), the sooner you know about it and get help, the better.
  • If you travel during cold weather, a neighbor or friend can make sure your pipes are protected from freezing by keeping the heater on and dripping the faucets. Insulate outside pipes before you leave.
  • A friend or house-sitter can help deter intruders by making your house look occupied. They can keep your house from being an easy target by parking a car in the driveway, moving the garbage cans and picking up flyers or newspapers.

Inside your home, sweet home

  • Make sure small electronic devices are off. An easy way to make sure is to unplug items such as coffee pots, toasters, blenders and hair dryers, which also can help reduce your electric bill, as some electronics use energy even when they’re turned off.
  • Don’t leave your lights on through your vacation. This can add up to a hefty bill, and it looks odd at night.
  • Leave your curtains as you usually do. Closing them may draw attention, or keep helpers (like police or neighbors) from
    seeing something suspicious.

Before you go

  • Avoid broadcasting your vacation on social media or blog posts. This is an easy tip-off for unwelcome guests, so it might be best to keep your time away on the down-low.
  • Consider postponing your mail to keep it from piling up and drawing attention (easily done at usps.com).
  • Remember, of course, to lock up before you leave. However, avoid leaving a spare key around under the welcome mat or in your plants, because intruders could very well find them. Leave the key instead with a neighbor or your house-sitter.
  • Make sure your home is covered with the right insurance policy. For more information, contact your agent or click here.

Insurance terms, definitions and explanations are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in individual insurance contracts, policies or declaration pages, which control coverage determinations. Such terms may vary by state or area, and exclusions may apply.

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