Going On A Vacation? Ensure Your Home Is Safe In Your Absence
It's vacation time!! Families are moving out to explore new cities or revisit their grandparents back in town. But, before you leave for a week-long vacation, it is important to ensure your home stays in a safe condition while you are gone. You don't want to come back a house flooded with water due to a leaky tap, or home smelling pungent due to moisture.
MakaaniQ gives you a checklist of things you should do before you go on a vacay:
Tune down information on social media
Sharing is caring, but this statement is not to be understood out of context. When you announce your plans of leaving town and spending your summer holiday in some far off location in some far off country on social media platforms, you may be compromising the safety of your house to a great extent. Information that you generously share on such platforms, sometimes only with the sole intention of making your friends jealous, could be used to plan a potential threat to your property. You have to judiciously pick what to post on social media platforms and what not. Really, you think with a look of disbelief on face? Well, here is news for you. The Income Tax Department is going to collect data from social media sites such as Facebook and Instagram to nab those who misreport their income in order to save taxes. If that is any cue, it’s high time you started taking your social media posts seriously.
Not stating the obvious
Now that you have decided to be discrete about your absence from the city, let us try another trick. Let us try not to make it obvious to everyone that your house is empty in your absence. How do you do that? Piles of newspapers and mails and dumps of rotting garbage in front of the house are some tell-tale signs. Similarly, someone who regularly visits the area can guess about the house being empty from the darkness inside. So, before you leave town, do inform your hawker to stop the supply of papers for that period. This is one way to let the world know you are gone, is it not? In that case, ask your neighbour to collect your newspapers daily. You must also ask them to instruct the garbage collector to clean the outside of the premises regularly. If your house has smart lighting installed, it would read your regular lighting moves and keep your home lit during the night. You could also keep certain curtains and blinds raised.
Ask reliable people for help
You must select people who could be trusted with the responsibility of keeping an eye on your property in your absence. Your next-door neighbour, for instance, can be that person. A friend living close by may also be given this responsibility. These people can come and visit your home once in a while. While the concept has yet to gain popularity in India, there are agencies in the West that offer professional house sitting services to their clients. Using the services of these professionals, you can leave an impression on others that the property has not been left unattended. While you are leaving, give one set of keys to a reliable neighbour who could look after your property in your absence and even resolve any emergency indoors. Make sure you know the neighbour well and think he can take the responsibility. And, do not forget to return the favour when you are back.
Insurance is the best policy
You could buy a burglary insurance policy if you are leaving the town for a longer period. While buying the policy, do read the terms and conditions carefully, and make sure the plan also covers thefts. During the period for which the policy is bought, the insurer will guard your property against any mishaps. However, a better idea would be to buy a burglary policy that covers your property at all times.
Let us mind boggle them
Let us hope that nothing wrong happens to your home while you are away, but let us prepare it for the worst. What are the obvious places that a burglar would look for to steal your valuables? Remove your valuables from there. You could either keep these things at an innocuous location or give it in the custody of someone you trust. While carrying a great deal of valuables may neither be feasible nor advisable, you could carry a carry reasonable amount of your jewellery along with you.
Begin with water supplies. Shut down the water supply once you are all set to go. This will ensure that even if there is a leaky faucet or a tap has been left open, there will be no water. Overflowing water is common when the house is left empty for days and can damage the property.
Switch off the gas connection
If you have a pipe gas supply or use a cylinder, switch off the connection. Even if your stove knobs are off, a certain amount of gas leaks constantly. This can be negligible when the home is open and ventilated, but, imagine a closed home. It can cause a disaster.
Do not forget electricity plugs
Electricity can be equally dangerous as a gas connection. So, before you leave, turn off all the appliances including air conditioners, refrigerators, ovens etc. Make sure no appliance is plugged even if the switch is off. Do not completely cut off the supply, but switch off all heavy-duty appliances. Any kind of fluctuation or even power cuts can have a damaging effect on these appliances while you are gone.
Order something online and yet to receive your parcel? The delivery date falls during the days when you are on a vacation? Call up the customer care to either share a change in address of delivery or postpone the delivery to until you are back. Save the delivery person the effort of making visits every day with the same parcel and not find you at home.
Do not forget that light
It is essential to keep a light of a room on when you are leaving. First, this will keep vandals away thinking that someone is home and also, in case of emergencies, a light will allow easy access to the property. Imagine your neighbour had to enter your home for some emergency and in a dark home he couldn't find the switch.
Security cams? Perfect
In today's time, people install security cams at home given that it is unmanned for a large part of the day. It is time to fully utilise these cams. A day or two before you leave, check all the cameras are working properly and none need any servicing. Check if it is connected to your device and showing real time footage. This is the best way to know your home is safe even when you are not around.
With inputs from Sunita Mishra