Updated on May 2023
Whether you’re heading on vacation abroad or staying local, there’s a lot that goes into planning a weekend getaway. You may have developed an itinerary that includes your activities, where you’ll be staying and for how long, but have you considered how you plan on securing your home for when you’re away?
Even if you intend on leaving for a weekend, it’s still important that you take the steps to ensure that your home is protected. Don’t know where to start? Well, here’s our tips to help prepare your home for a weekend trip.
How Do I Prepare My Home For When I’m Away?
- Letting somebody you trust know when you’re going away is essential. Burglars are more likely to take advantage of an empty house, so having a neighbor or relative keep an eye on your property can make all the difference. Have them collect your mail, take out the trash and park in your driveway occasionally so that it looks like someone is home. This could deter potential criminals from targeting your residence.
- Turn off any unused appliances. Running appliances you don’t need while you’re away not only is an unnecessary utility expense, but it also could lead to problems if something goes wrong with an appliance while you’re away.
- Lock away any valuables. Consider purchasing a lock box to store any valuable items. For added protection, we recommend storing them in a place that is out of sight (e.g., under your bed or in your closet). Just be sure to document where you’ve kept them.
- Close your blinds. Another potential deterrent for thieves is by closing your blinds to hide visibility of the interior of your home. Depending on who’s watching your house, you may ask them to open the blinds during the day and to close them at night. This is another tactic to have your home appeared to be lived in.
- Take inventory of your food. We often underestimate how quickly food can expire. We don’t recommend leaving them in the trash – if it’s indoors, you may come home to an unpleasant odour, and if it’s outdoors, your trash bins may be raided by nearby wildlife. If you have any food items that are close to expiring, be sure to store them in your fridge and/or freezer.
- Double check your locks. This may seem simple enough, but it is a task that can be overlooked by many. Be sure to have everyone in the household go over the door locks and windows to ensure that they are secured.
- Set the Thermostat Accordingly. If your thermostat is constantly running on high or low (depending on the time of year), it’s important that you adjust it accordingly. i.e. getting a smart thermostat to turn off the A/C during the summer or ensuring that the heating is off during the winter. In both instances, maintaining the thermostat at room temperature is your best bet.
- Avoid posting on your social media networks. Our team has provided its tips on how to help reduce the risk of a possible break-in at your home while you’re away. Ultimately, we recommend that you wait until you’ve arrived back home to post about your vacation, as potential home invaders may use your social media to assess whether your home is left unoccupied.
- Turn on your home security system. If you have a security camera, be sure that it’s activated before leaving. We also recommend contacting your home monitoring company to inform that that you will be away and for how long. If you don’t have one, consider looking into installing a smart home monitoring device or home automation
- Contact your insurance company. If you’ll be gone for longer than a weekend, consider speaking with your insurance provider to let them know that you will be away. Some policies have language that requires this step if your home will be left unattended. However, even if you’re only leaving for the weekend, you may find it beneficial to review your policy to understand what is covered in the event of a break-end.
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