Protect Your Home From Disasters While You are Away

Friday, April 12, 2013

A disaster that befalls your home while you are present is bad enough. You have to run to close the main tap to minimize water damage, you must find and work out how to operate the fire extinguisher to control the fire and you have to dig through telephone directories to find the numbers of emergency services. But that is nothing compared to the amount of damage that occurs when floods and fires happen while you are away on holiday or business.

Here are some tips for safeguarding your home while you are absent:

Protect Your Home From Disasters

  • If you will be away for a while, turn off the main water supply. You do not want pipes to burst or taps to break and water to gush around or through your house for days.

  • Turn off all appliances and plugs to prevent fire due to faulty wiring.

  • Install a smoke alarm and have it monitored by a neighbor or security company if possible. If there is anything in your house that is especially flammable, either remove it before you leave or have sprinklers installed (for which the water supply needs to be left on).

  • Maintain an appropriate temperature so that your water pipes do not freeze.

  • Make sure that the sump pump is working, especially if you will be away during the rainy months.

  • Clear debris off the roof and eaves trough to prevent the roof from leaking while you are away.

  • Make it appear as if you are at home to deter burglars. Leave a radio on and/or attach lamps to timers that will turn them on at night. Leave the curtains or blinds open. If you will be away for long, organize to have your lawn mowed and garden kept tidy. Ask neighbours to collect your mail so that your mailbox does not overflow. You can do the same for them while they are away.

  • Buy a good alarm system and alarm sign and, if you can afford it, get a security company to respond when your alarm goes off.

  • If you can motivate others in your neighborhood, start a neighborhood crime watch. Pool money to pay a security company to drive by frequently and to respond to alarms.