Spring break season has arrived! Over the next few weeks, students from our local schools and colleges will be on break, which means many families will be hitting the road for a spring break getaway. With the nice weather we’ve had, it’s a great time to hit your favorite vacation spot in Idaho, Washington, or beyond!
Whether you’re going to hang out in our great local outdoors, take the family to a fun resort, or bask on a sunny, white-sand beach in the Caribbean, it’s important to take precautions to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away. After all, what could be worse than returning from a relaxing break or an active adventure to find a disaster has occurred, such as a break-in, or water or fire damage?
Use these tips to help protect your home while you’re away this spring:
- Don't announce your spring break vacation plans online or on social media - this will signal you will have a vacant home.
- Do a walk around before you head out to make sure all doors and windows are locked and garage doors are closed. Don't forget to lock the doors of cars left in the driveway.
- Check for any leaks and fix them. Remember to look in some of the less obvious areas -for example, ensure your refrigerator ice maker is not leaking!
- Set your heater at approximately 50 degrees to ensure pipes and appliances don’t freeze. But if you have pets and they are going to be in the house, set it closer to 72 degrees to keep the air warmer for them.
- If you have pets, make arrangements for their comfort and safety: either board them or have a friend come over daily to care for them. Keep clean water available for them.
- Turn furnace and hot water heaters down to preserve energy and costs while you’re not using them.
- Unplug all appliances, such as coffee makers, toasters and exercise equipment.
- Leave a light or two on so the house doesn’t appear deserted at night.
- Leave any porch/exterior lights on around the outside of the house.
- Lower blinds and close curtains so that passers-by can’t view your valuables.
- Leave a key with a trusted friend or neighbor so they can enter the home in case of emergency.
- Have a friend or neighbor bring in newspapers and mail or cancel delivery for both during the time when you’ll be away. Old newspapers give signs of an empty home.
If you have plans to get away for spring break, we hope you have happy and safe travels and make lots of great memories with your loved ones.
*The list of tips comes from our agents, along with tips from one of great insurance carriers – Safeco Insurance. To find out more about Safeco or any of our insurance carriers visit our insurance companies page here.
Monday, March 30, 2015 at 1:36pm PDT
I can’t express how important it is to do a run-down check of your house before you leave. Like you said, you should check all windows and doors, but also check for leaks; and I would add to turn off appliances and electronics that will not be used. You might as well save on your bill while you’re gone. Since it is so easy to access our home security systems via our smartphones, I highly recommend installing alarms in your house. They are especially useful when you leave on vacation.
Eli | Marshall Alarm Systems, Inc.