Summer vacation usually gets the spotlight with a major factor contributing to this being, of course, the typical school cycle for families. However, winter vacations are a popular trend among many different families throughout Texas. From traveling to be with loved ones to seeking warmer weather, there are so many reasons to take a trip in the winter months. To avoid coming back to a disaster, we’ve got you covered with winter vacation home safety tips to protect your home.
Tips for Preparing Your Home Before Your Winter Vacations
Having a relaxing time away from home can easily be ruined if you come home to face a loss. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re away including burglaries, major damage, and even liability concerns.
Nevertheless, this isn’t a reason to panic, but rather, a point of reflection for homeowners to take the time to prepare before taking off. Here are tips to help you avoid common losses that afflict homeowners in Texas:
Fire Safety Is a Must
Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, please don’t burn the house down. Yes, it’s a staple for many homes and can look beautiful, but it can be a fire hazard that can leave you with several lumps of coal after burning down your house for the holidays.
Even on smaller trips just out of town, you’ll want to blow out the candles and cut the decor while away. Sadly, this also includes your outdoor decorations. If you’re leaving, be sure to keep the Christmas lights off.
Avoid a Break-In
One of the trickier things homeowners must do is to appear at home even when they are not. This is because a busy home that’s well-lit is less likely to be broken into. But since you can’t be in two places at once, here are some tips to help deter would-be thieves:
- Floodlights and cameras can go a long way to making sure your property is secure.
- Have a trusted neighbor taking in the paper, making a pass, and helping deter potential threats.
- Keep up with maintenance to avoid blindspots that can be used by burglars to gain access to your home.
- Double-check that your home is locked and secured before leaving.
- Refrain from keeping spare keys outside around your home.
- Make sure your blinds and windows are closed and locked.
- Empty boxes featuring electronics or other expensive items following a round of gift-giving can attract thieves. Be sure to be discreet when discarding such items in the trash, even if you are home.
In addition to the physical things you can avoid in real life, you’ll also want to pay attention to your online activities. For modern homeowners in Texas, winter vacation home safety tips wouldn’t be complete without being aware of announcing to the world that you are far away from home on the world wide web.
Secure Attractive Nuisances
Even if everything is fine physically, coming home to a lawsuit due to someone injuring themselves while on your property is a damper no one wants to face.
Homeowners can have plenty of attractive nuisances including equipment, boats, pools, trampolines, and more. These items can cause injury to children or other visitors, however unwanted they might be.
Taking the necessary steps to secure or block assets to such things will help you avoid legal battles and keep your financial assets protected. While homeowners insurance in Texas is a great protector against such issues, for larger losses, umbrella insurance can help avoid any coverage gaps to best protect your finances.
A Special Mention for Online Shoppers
One of the best ways to get anything you need these days is to purchase things online. But doing so can combine plenty of the previously mentioned threats to your home facing a break-in and combine them into one event.
Texans need to take into consideration that shopping online during the busiest time of the year could mean delays and if there is a delay, your package will be exposed to the elements and public if you cannot bring it in due to your trip.
This can be inviting to thieves, a “tell” that you are not home, and present several risks to your property.
Cover Your Pipes
For most Texans, we now understand two things: it doesn’t get too cold in most places throughout the state, but when it does, our homes aren’t always prepared.
Burst pipes can cause a tremendous amount of damage even when someone is home to mitigate it. Water damage is far-reaching and unforgiving, so if you’re not going to be home, you need to prepare.
Preferably, if you can, turning your water off before a vacation is an advisable step to help gain you the most protection. You’ll also want to cover your pipes to avoid potential threats should temperatures drop while you’re away.
Test Your Alarm Systems
In many homes, modern alarm systems can be used to alert not only homeowners but also the authorities, even if you aren’t home. Be sure that these systems work before you leave so that if the worst does happen, the damage can be mitigated by proper channels.
This includes ensuring the following work:
- Your security system.
- Carbon monoxide detectors
- Smoke/fire alarms.
Additional Tips Before You Depart This Winter
Leaving your home for a winter vacation comes with plenty of considerations and our tips will help Texans avoid potential losses. But there’s more to it than avoiding a major home insurance claim. Other pieces of property may be at risk and less serious issues still persist:
Clean Your Fridge Before You Go
Coming back to expired food is no way to be welcomed home. It’s gross, annoying, and can ruin your vacation vibe. Keep the holidays jolly by taking care of this chore long before you depart.
Secure Your Vehicle(s)
Protecting your home is important, but your vehicles can also be at risk. Here’s how you can protect them:
- Keep your vehicle in a secured area to avoid vandalism, theft, or other forms of damage.
- Don’t forget to consider the dangers of the elements. If your vehicle is left exposed to a storm while you are away, damage from a fallen tree, hail, or flood could destroy your car.
- If your vacation will last more than a week, be sure to disconnect the battery so that your vehicle doesn’t drain it while you’re away.
Unplug More Than Your Decorations
A cheaper electric bill, cutting down fire hazards, and protecting major electronics from potential power surges are just some of the great benefits you’ll find here. Avoid a costly home insurance claim regarding personal property with this easy-to-implement tip.
Set Your Thermostat
This is much easier for homes that have thermostats that connect online. But no matter what kind your home has, Texans should plan to keep their home’s temperatures inside to reflect the weather that will occur while they are gone.
In many cases, this means temperate weather as the Lone Star State enjoys relative relief from the harsh Texan sun. It’s a great opportunity for homeowners to maintain their homes all while enjoying energy savings in the process.
Winter Vacation Home Safety Tips Include Staying Protected With Insurance
Ultimately, no matter how much you plan, things can happen. Staying prepared for the worst while hoping for the best is a great way to go about things, and it means having the proper insurance in place for protection.
Freedom Insurance Group helps Texans year-round saving money on a home, auto, or umbrella policy. Our team works with over 25 top-rated carriers that continue to provide some of the best insurance products to our clients for less.
Our agents are here to be a resource for your needs. Whether it’s compiling winter vacation home safety tips or helping you file a claim in May, our team is ready to serve.
On average, our clients save 40% when switching because of our insurance partnerships. By comparing your coverage needs on a personal level among our partnering carriers, our agents continue to find the best insurance solutions for homeowners at the lowest possible price.
You deserve a winter vacation that you can enjoy with peace of mind. Give us a call or fill out our online form for a free home insurance quote today!