Protect your home while you escape the cold
By Gillian Birch
(NC)—As the winter season drones on, many Canadians are escaping the cold by jetting off to tropical destinations. But before you head south, remember that your home needs extra protection to prevent against theft and water damaged while you're away.
“Vacations are an opportunity to relax and escape our everyday lives,” says Wayne Ross, insurance expert at Aviva Canada. “Ensuring your home is protected during your absence can safe-guard against unwanted damage and added costs.”
Ross suggests the following tips to keep your home protected while vacationing:
• Make a home look occupied when away. Park a car in the driveway, install an indoor light timer, place newspaper subscriptions on hold and ask a neighbour to collect mail.
• Install a security device with a loud alarm or flashing lights. Some alarms can contact authorities directly when they have been activated.
• Use deadbolt locks on all doors. Ensure doors, including garages and sheds, are locked and secured. Be sure to remove any house keys from obvious hiding places, such as under doormats or flowerpots.
• Ensure all windows are locked. If your windows are old, consider upgrading to ones with improved locking systems.
• Have your walkway shovelled after every snowfall. Snow removal will make your home look occupied. If you have a car parked out front, have a neighbour remove any snow build-up.
• Turn down the heat to no lower than 55 °F (13 °C). A low heat seating will prevent your water pipes from freezing or bursting.
• Have your home checked. Some insurance policies require that if you are away for more than a few days, a responsible party must check your residence daily to ensure an appropriate temperature is maintained to avoid pipes bursting and serious water damage
For more information on how to guard your home during winter vacation and ensure a stress-free return, contact your insurance broker or visit www.avivacanada.com.
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