Careful planning can help you protect your second home and property when you are not there. Here are some tips to reduce the likelihood of loss or damage:
- Lock all doors and windows.
- Set interior and exterior lighting with programmable timing devices to go on and off at different times of the evening and throughout the night to make it appear that someone is always home.
- Lower telephone ringer volume so that it cannot be heard from outside.
- Store valuables in a bank vault or safe-deposit box.
- Arrange for someone to check your house periodically.
Avoiding Water Damage
- Turn off the water heater.
- Turn off the washing machine connection.
- Turn off water to the toilet, leaving water in the bowl.
- Have the air-conditioning system checked prior to your departure to make sure water lines and drains are clear and working properly.
- If you have an alarm system, consider monitoring your home with low temperature sensors that signal if your home's temperature falls below a preset level.
If You Have a House Sitter
- Ask that water be run through all plumbing fixtures (sinks, showers, toilets and tubs) at least once a month.
- Ask for periodic checks of the ceiling and walls and around plumbing fixtures for water damage spots.