Five Tips to Vacation-Proof Your Home
Keep your home and property safe while you’re away. CAA Insurance has expert tips for homeowners.
by Mary Wimmer
Whether you’re gone for a few days or for several months, it’s important that your home and property are safe while you’re gone. According to 2016 statistics from SafeGuard Ontario, a community-based crime prevention program run by the Ontario Provincial Police, more than 150,000 break-and-enters are reported each year in Canada, with six in 10 happening in residential neighbourhoods.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the risk of a home intrusion. Here are some:
It might sound obvious to most, but many burglaries are crimes of opportunity. An open window or unlocked door can be an invitation to intruders, so be sure to close and lock all windows and doors before you leave; paying particular attention to ground-level access points, including the garage door. Consider making your home even less appealing to ne’er-do-wells by keeping shrubs and bushes trimmed well away from windows and doors.
Be sure to store jewellery, family heirlooms and other valuables in a safety deposit box before you go. It may not be practical to remove larger electronics, but laptops and other smaller electronics should definitely be stored out of sight. Keep all blinds drawn: the less that those outside of your home can see inside, the better.
Don’t make it obvious that you’re away. Consider paying a trusted neighbourhood teen in advance to take out the trash and recycling on garbage day, mow your lawn, and pick up your mail. You can also suspend your mail delivery service with Canada Post before going; and it may be good practice to leave a few lights on inside your home, for signs of life.
Let a trusted neighbour know that you will not be home so that he or she can keep an eye on your property while you are away. Consider asking them to place one of their garbage bags in front of your house on collection day and having them park in your driveway.
Aside from family and a few close friends, don’t share your vacation plans with too many people – especially strangers or service people. While we all get excited about travelling, it’s in your best interest to keep it under wraps until after your return. That means avoiding posting pictures, statuses, or check-ins on social media that refer to your whereabouts. Share the excitement when you get back.
When you’re away from home, get peace of mind with CAA Insurance. Did you know that CAA Members automatically receive a 10% discount? Plus, CAA Members can save even more with our mortgage-free, new home, monitored alarm and mature discounts. For a no-obligation quote, book an appointment with an in-store agent at your nearest CAA Store.