Safeguarding your home during the winter months

It rains a lot in the Pacific Northwest. A lot. This is especially true for the winter months. Because of the damp climate, many residents leave the soggy shores of Puget Sound for the sunny skies of the South West. Homes amongst the foggy evergreens are left behind, sitting vacant for potentially months. These empty homes pose a concern for homeowners—how to protect their home while away.

Many of the basics to safeguarding your home, like a good security system and deadbolt locks, are effective. But they’re not the only way to defend your home. From old-fashioned neighborly kindness to 21st century technology, here are ways to prevent your home from being featured on the nightly news:

·      The first step is simple—don’t advertise you’re leaving. The fewer people know, the less likely word will spread about your impending departure.

·      Ask a trustworthy neighbor to watch your home. Regular checks help deter burglars. Leave a key with your neighbor, not under the welcome mat. Bad idea. So is leaving keys in fake rocks. Many thieves are savvy to this, and will look for the slightly plastic-looking rock.

·      Tell the post office to halt your mail. A full mailbox is a lure to thieves and makes it obvious that nobody’s home.

·      If it snows while you’re away, arrange for someone to shovel or plow your driveway. This gives the impression that someone is regularly coming and going. A friend or neighbor could even leave footprints in walkways to help aid the illusion, or park their car in front of your home.

·      Set inside and outside lights on timers. Lights going on and off during the day and night (especially at irregular intervals) keeps thieves at bay.

·      To really make it seem like someone’s home, radios and TVs can be set on a timer. Any burglar that hears voices in a home will think twice. You can even set up a recording of a dog barking that is triggered by loud noises, like a knock on the door.

If your winter plans involve traveling to a more summer-like clime, call or email Homer Smith Insurance to review your current coverage or to receive a free quote. We have offices in Port Townsend and Sequim, Washington. An independent insurance agency, we are licensed in, and serve, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Erin Stork, Homer Smith Insurance

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