Are you celebrating the Christmas holidays at home or flying out? Many of us will take advantage of these holidays and fly to family or a new country. However, before you leave, there is much to do and steps to take to protect your home.
When going on holiday, there are always risks to your home when it is empty. There are many unfortunate situations you don’t want to return to. These risks can include home damage to break-ins.
Fortunately, these steps will help protect your home and reduce the chances of these risks. Follow these steps before you leave for your Christmas holidays, and know your home is safe.
Steps To Protect Your Home Before You Leave
1. Don’t Tell Everyone About Your Holiday Plans
Going on a holiday is exciting; you want to tell everyone and post it everywhere. But this may not be the best way to protect your home. Posting that you are going on holiday and posting the dates – is basically advertising your house is empty.
Neighbours, staff, and unwanted followers may overhear your news and take it as an opportunity to break in. Especially online, we never know who is following us and may know where you live. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t tell anyone – just double-think before sharing details online or out loud in your local area.
2. Schedule A Deep Clean
After a long holiday, one of the worst things is returning to a dirty and stinking home. You will have the holiday blues, and a dirty home will worsen it. As you will have to start cleaning as soon as your back. The situation could be dirty clothes, a full bin, dirty dishes and more.
The best thing to do is clean before you leave so when you get back you can just relax. Schedule a deep clean a few days before you go, take out the bins and wash all those dishes. Cleaning will also protect your home and you from diseases and unwanted bacteria. For example, it takes only three days for mould to form on plates and outdoor food.
You may also want to schedule a light cleaning after you are back to get rid of all that dust (depending on how long you are gone).
3. Make Sure Valuables Are Locked Away
Our homes are full of costly valuables and would be devastating if lost. Even though we hope our homes are safe, you never know what could happen while you are gone. There is always a chance your home could be robbed by a criminal or even a trusted maid.
The best way to avoid this is by locking your valuables in a safe or hiding them. Somewhere only you can access or find. Valuables are expensive to replace, and you must protect them before you leave for holiday.
4. Home Insurance
Home insurance is one of the best ways to protect your home, whether you are at home or not. The insurance will cover your home and the physical contents from theft, loss, or damages. While you are away, the damages could be due to a storm or a freak accident.
Additionally, if you rent your apartment, ensure you have tenant home insurance, as your landlord’s insurance will not cover your valuables. Home insurance is perfect in case you are a victim of an unfortunate home situation.
However, home insurance will not cover damage, loss, or theft if the owner or tenant has not lived there for more than 30 days. Therefore, as long as your holiday is no longer than 30 days, the insurance will protect your home.
5. Turn Off All Electronics (Unplug)
Electrical issues are among the top 5 causes of house fires, especially when there is no one at home to fix them. House fire is one of the worst things that could happen while you are on holiday. You must turn off or unplug most electrical appliances to protect your home from fires.
Turning off and unplugging electronics can highly reduce the chances of any fire or damage. Therefore, unplug your WIFI, turn off the lights, make sure every AC/fan is off and all other devices plugged in. The only electronic device that can be left on is the refrigerator.
Make a list of things to turn off and unplug a few days before you leave and then follow it on the day you leave.
6. Give A Spare Key to A Trusted Friend
Someone should always have a spare key all year round. But if no one does till now, you should hand at least one out while you are away. Giving your key to someone could be a lifesaver when trying to protect your home.
The spare key could allow your friend or family to enter in case you think you have left the stove on, if there is a parcel delivered or even if you lost your own key during the holiday. Especially if it is a long holiday, you could tell your friend to house-sit or occasionally water your plants.
Make sure you trust this person with everything, don’t just hand it to a friendly neighbour.
7. Lock Windows and Doors
Your bags are at the door, you are ready, and it’s time to start this Christmas holiday you have been waiting for. Slow down for a few minutes and ensure your home is fully closed off. To protect your home from unpredictable weather, especially in Hong Kong, you must ensure every window is locked tight.
A small open gap during a typhoon (storm) can let in a lot of water and cause severe damage. After all windows are locked, just walk around again, and do a last check to make sure everything is off, unplugged, safe and locked. The final step to protect your home is to lock the main door and double check it is closed properly.
8. Don’t Worry Too Much
If you have followed the above seven steps, you have done your best to protect your home. There is already a higher chance of your home remaining safe and clean when you get back.
However, if there is anything you are stressed or anxious about, you can always call your friend with the spare key to check on it.
These steps, plus home insurance, are a great way to make sure your home is safe and enjoy your holiday stress-free.
To Learn More about Home Insurance and protect your home while you are on holiday, contact Red Asia Insurance.