Destination vacations are a privilege enjoyed by many throughout winter. While the cold weather in Saskatchewan is leading some to get away for a vacation somewhere warm and sunny, leaving a home behind does require more planning than suspending mail delivery and having someone feed your pets.

With some overall tips for ensuring your home is safe while you're away, Christine Niemczyk with CAA Saskatchewan shared how to ensure the cold doesn’t get the best of your home.

“You're going to want to turn off your water supply. It's very important to have someone enter the home and check on things daily to ensure the pipes are not frozen,” she said.

Niemczyk advises suspending mail delivery or having someone bring in your mail, and shovel your walk while you’re away.

“Make it look like the home is being used and it's not being left vacant,” she said. “Use timers for lights as well. Leave your blinds or curtains in the normal position. Always important as well, close and lock the garage door, keep your vehicle in the garage locked, especially if it has an electric garage door opener.”

Timers can also be set for TVs and other tactics that can keep away potential opportunists. Ensure all doors and windows are locked.

“You're going to want to make sure your home insurance is up to date, and that all your possessions are going to be covered in your insurance policy,” Niemczyk added.

Even when the pets are being fed and the plants are being watered, nobody wants to come back to discover they were the victim of a home invasion.

“Regarding social media, perhaps not advertise that you're away,” she said. “Let your family and friends know your travel plans, when you're leaving, when you're coming back. That sort of information can certainly be given, but just be cautious of any social media messaging out there to advertise where you're going and how long you'll be away.”

In case a break-and-enter does occur, however, homeowners can create a property inventory checklist to create a list of personal belongings for insurance claim adjusters.


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