Property Manager, Shawn Machado, of MAPLE RIDGE Community Management provides tips & tricks to keep your home safe while on vacation this summer!
As we begin to plan our long awaited weekends away or extended vacations during the Summer months, we often forget to really prepare ourselves for the little (or big) mishaps that can happen at home while we are away. These mishaps can be exponentially worse when living in a condominium community because of the close proximity to your neighbors and the corporation’s surrounding common elements. A small leak, even the simplest of which can be excruciatingly painful to deal with, gets more complicated once the three units below you become involved as well.
Below are a few simple pre-vacation tips and tricks for keeping your property safe while you enjoy the sun:
1. NOTIFY SOMEONE ABOUT YOUR PLANS
Ask a trusted friend or family member to keep an eye on your unit. Regardless of if you live in a townhouse, single family home or a high rise unit, the constant activity will deter any potential intruders from hanging around your unit.
2. PUT YOUR LIGHTS ON A TIMER
Falsifying your presence in your home will ensure burglars steer clear. By setting your timers to turn on and off periodically throughout the day or evening, you can successfully create the illusion that your unit is occupied.
3. SECURE YOUR VALUABLES
Ensure that all of your valuable items are either locked up, hidden away or moved off site to a family member’s home. This will help to mitigate losses in the event of a break-in or major loss. Additionally, ensure to close blinds and curtains so potential intruders can’t verify which valuables would be up for grabs if they did break in.
4. LOCK YOUR WINDOWS AND BACK DOORS
This seems like an obvious step but as we all know there is a lot to do before you leave for a holiday. This is a simple step that can often be missed or forgotten.
5. REDIRECT YOUR MAIL
Nothing says I’m not home like a pile of newspapers and an overflowing mailbox. Redirect your mail or have it put on hold until your return, this will help to create the appearance of an occupied unit.
6. CONSIDER A HOUSE SITTER
Consider having a friend or relative stay in your unit while you are away. This will almost completely eliminate the possibility of most of the common issues and give you a degree of security that your property is safe and secure.
7. DON’T TURN OFF YOUR HEAT DURING THE WINTER MONTHS
A large percentage of frozen or burst pipes are the result of unit owners trying to keep costs down by turning off their heat. A burst pipe can be a nightmare, especially if you have no content insurance for your unit and/or if the flood or leak affects other units.
8. NOTIFY YOUR PROPERTY MANAGER
One of the major issues a Property Manager faces in an emergency situation is contact information for an absent unit owner. When you go on vacation notify your Property Manager and give them an alternative number in case of an emergency with the unit. This way if a trade or member of your management team needs access to the unit, access will be available without incurring additional costs.
9. DON’T POST TRAVEL PLANS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Last but not least, we are all tempted to post our first vacation Selfie on social media; however, it’s a much better idea to wait and post your pictures upon your return. Social Media is infinitely connected to people all across the web and members in your community may be trolling for unsuspecting individuals who advertise their vacations plans.