In order to properly enjoy a trip or vacation, it is crucial to know that your home is protected. Worrying about your home’s safety while away can be detrimental to your happiness and relaxation. Unfortunately, break-ins in Ontario are quite common. In fact, Toronto alone had 5,768 break-ins in 2021 alone, almost half of those being on residential properties. This is why taking the necessary steps to protect and secure your home while you’re away is important! Luckily, isure is here to help you with our list of 10 tips to help keep your home safe and sound in your absence.
1. Invest in a good alarm system
Investing in a good alarm system is arguably the best first step to take when it comes to securing your home. This is a huge move when it comes to preventing break-ins while you are away. Nowadays, there is a plethora of different security systems for your home, each with their own perks. Many systems these days even come with a phone application that lets you monitor activity right from your smartphone! This is perfect when it comes to keeping an eye on things while you are out of town. Even if you don’t plan on leaving the house anytime soon, having a good security system is crucial for optimal safety. If you already have an alarm system, it is a good idea to alert your company that you will be out of town for a set period of time.
2. Set timers on your lights to protect your home while away
The chances of a burglar attempting to break into your house if they think you’re home are more slim than if you aren’t. If you can, invest in some interior and exterior lights that can be timed. This way, people passing by will be under the impression you are home if they see that your lights are on. Nowadays, it can be pretty easy to find lighting systems that can be set with a timer. There are also lights that can be controlled with applications! If you are out of town quite often and regularly leave your home vacant, a system like this is a great investment.
3. Check your doors and windows
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be shocked at how many people forget! Before you hit the road, it is a good idea to make sure your doors and windows are securely locked. Unfortunately, a large percentage of burglaries occur simply because people forget to double check their windows and doors before leaving the house. This also applies to side doors, garage entrances, sliding doors, and windows around the lower level of your home.
4. Secure and take note of your valuables
Putting your jewelry or valuables in a safety deposit box is a huge step in preventing burglaries. Often times, burglars will spot high value items from windows, which easily puts a target on your home. In order to prevent this, storing your items away in a safe, secure place is a smart decision. If you would like to take an extra step, try investing in a safe to put them in! If this isn’t an option, it’s a good idea to properly take note of your valuables, so you can make sure nothing is missing upon your return. Regardless of where you store them, keep them out of sight to potential burglars and visitors!
5. Power surges
You never know what the weather will entail when you leave. This is why it is smart to prepare for a potential power surge while you are gone. Make sure your computers, TVs and other electronics are unplugged or plugged safely into a surge protector. There is nothing worse than returning home to find an electronic device of yours is fried due to a thunderstorm.
6. Lock your garage to protect your home while you’re away
This one is similar to the above tip regarding locked doors and windows! It may sound silly, but many people forget to lock up their garage door when heading out of town! In many cases, a garage may have a door that provides access to your home. Even if this isn’t the case, there are many valuables that you keep in your garage that you do not want to be stolen. So, be sure to lock both the garage door itself and the door leading into your home.
7. Refrain from posting on social media
At isure, we understand vacations can be exciting! In fact, we know first hand how tempting it can be to flaunt your vacation on social media. It’s the way of the world now, isn’t it? However, this isn’t a smart move to make. If you have a large following on platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you will essentially be announcing your absence from your home. This is especially important when it comes to sharing the days you depart and arrive. It gives potential thiefs an idea of how long your vacation will be. We know it can be tough, but waiting until you return to post photos and statuses is a much safer alternative when it comes to keeping your home secure and safe.
8. Stop your newspaper, mail and deliveries
We’ve all seen it before. People go away for long periods of time and are left collecting mail, deliveries and newspapers on their front porch. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea! This gives burglars and other criminals a clear indication that you are not home, and haven’t been for some time. If you are only gone for a weekend or a couple of days, that is fine. However, if you plan on vacationing for a longer period of time, it is a good idea to receive digital mail instead or delay delivery of any newspapers so they do not collect over time. If you are able to, another alternative is to request a friend or family member collect your mail while you are gone.
9. Arrange for lawn care
Another clear indicator that someone is out is an overgrown lawn. If possible, hire a service or ask a friend or neighbour to come by and clean up your lawn. Cutting your grass and trimming your trees and bushes is essential. Of course, this is all dependent on how long you will be away for. Sometimes, it isn’t necessary! Remember, when leaving, you want as little people to know you are out of town as possible.
10. Have the proper insurance to protect your home while you’re away
Let’s face it, sometimes things happen, no matter how much prevention you put in. If the unfortunate occurs when you are gone, it is crucial to have proper insurance. If you are in the market, why not check out isure? We have some of the best insurance rates in the province, with some of the best customer service.