Have you decided to skip the traditional home for the holiday routine this year for a week down in the Caribbean? Before you leave (and after inviting us along with enough notice to dig out our beach wear) make sure your home is protected from a break in.
Even if you happen to be a McCallister, avoiding leaving one of your kids at home should not be your only concern, there are still other important things to consider before you head out on your vacation.
Use the checklist below in order to relax poolside with a lot more peace of mind:
HAVE A TRUSTED FRIEND, RELATIVE OR NEIGHBOUR CHECK IN ON YOUR HOME DAILY
They can shovel snow, cycle interior lights, clear out the mailbox and anything else that can be done to make it less obvious your family is not home. Bonus points if you can get someone to live in your home for the duration of your trip, especially if you have pets.
MAKE SURE MOTION LIGHTS ARE WORKING
They can be as effective while away as they are while home. Proper lighting is one of the best security barriers for any property. Bonus points for having automatic Christmas lights set on a timer. They may not fool the wet bandits but not all home burglars are as clever as they are!
SECURELY LOCK ALL DOORS AND WINDOWS
Let us not forget the basement windows and maybe add some kind of physical barrier inside before leaving to help secure some entry points. For example, a relative of mine uses wood pressed against their side door and interior stairs so even if someone were to break the lock they would still have a heck of a time getting in.
POWER DOWN ALL NON-ESSENTIAL EQUIPMENT
Think computers, radio alarms and other unused appliances. Essential equipment such as a furnace (that prevents your pipes from freezing while away) should be left on, but other devices become a needless power drain and fire hazard when not home to use them.
INSTALL AND ACTIVATE A HOME ALARM SYSTEM
There is no better substitute than a high quality alarm system to protect your home 24/7. Bonus points if it is set up to alert someone (a friend, neighbour or closeby relative) when triggered for a quicker response time. If you have a professionally monitored home alarm system you may even spend less on home insurance. Just make sure you give your trusted home sitter the correct code to deactivate it!
This is a great list to start with that applies to most homes, but we suggest taking time to think of any other items that should be added to your list since we know your living situation is unique to you.
And just in case your last name IS actually McCallister, please make sure you have your children with you at the airport!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND ENJOY YOUR TIME AWAY!
Erie Mutual Insurance proudly serves the business, home, farm and auto insurance needs of members throughout Southern Ontario including Haldimand, Niagara and Hamilton.
Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.