Tag: Security Checklists

Check List for Vacant Home Watch

Check List for Vacant Home WatchNever leave your home vacant for an extended period of time. Make sure someone is checking on the home to make sure that everything is secure. There are so many things that can go wrong while a home is vacant. You can avoid or at least decrease the damage done while you are away. Animals can get in, the power might go off, pipes could freeze or someone might break in while you are away. While checking on the home is not going to stop these things from happening, at least you will control the amount of damage from that may occur afterwords. This is why you need a check list for vacant home watch.

Assume a windstorm breaks a window, or the power goes off, or there is a pipe break. Any of these situations, if left for any length of time can do considerable damage to your home. A Check List for Vacant Home Watch is worth following to increase the odds of your homes protection while away.

Will the Insurance Company Pay

You might think that there is no problem, the insurance will may. They might and then again they might not. turns out that many home insurance companies have clauses in their policies that require someone to check on a home on a regular interval when it is vacant.

If you do not follow this requirement or cannot prove someone was checking on the home, they may decline your claim for damages.  Some require a visit to your home every 24 hours if it is winter time and the water is not turned off.  Others are satisfied with once a week if the water is turned off and there is no danger of freezing weather. check with yours before you head off on vacation.

Hire a House Sitter

Hiring a house sitter does not mean that someone moves into your home. Instead they will visit your home on the schedule you require and provide you with a report and / or record of each visit. At the minimum, they should confirm the security of the home, the furnace is operating properly and that the water is not leaking anywhere. In addition they might water plants for you and bring in th email. Discuss any special requests with them and make sure everything is documented.

Your Check List for Vacant Home Watch

Check List for Vacant Home WatchWhether you are selling and have moved to another home while your old home sells or are just away on an extended vacation, there is a checklist of things that you may consider before you leave to help ensure that your home is secure. apply those that make sense for you in your neighborhood and your home:

  • Check with your insurance company concerning requirements
  • Ensure that your home looks as if someone is living in it
  • Have someone collect the mail
    • Make sure the lawn and gardens are maintained
    • Make sure the snow is cleared in the winter
    • Have several lights on timers ( they should follow your normal routine)
  • Advise your neighbors that you are away
  • Give your trusted neighbors your phone number
  • Have a trusted person check on the home on a regular basis
  • They should be able to contact you in case of emergency
  • They should have authority to make minor emergency repairs

As we mentioned earlier these steps may not prevent an incident in your vacant home, they should minimize the damage. Making your home look as if it is lived in when it is vacant, will help to ensure that it does not become a candidate for a break in while it is vacant.

Property Management Companies

Many property management companies will provide this service for a reasonable price. If you are not able to find a friend, a family member or a neighbor to look after your home while it is vacant. Always have a contract that specifies the services they will offer and also include the specific things you need them to do while you are away. If it is not written down, there is a good chance someone will forget leading to a big disappointment when you return.

We have a number of other posts that provide a more detailed checklist of steps to follow while you are away on vacation. Check out our post ” Home Security Checklist ” for a more detailed list of items.

If you have other suggestions about check lists for vacant homes, feel free to leave us a comment. Our readers will appreciate the help. If your are simply leaving a random comment to generate a track back, note that our filters will consider this as spam. Leave constructive comments and we may approve your comment.

For more vacant home watch lists, click here.



Home Security Checklist

Home Security ChecklistFollowing from our previous post we are listing a number of steps you can take to try to make sure that your home is secure while you are awayAlso how to make your home less attractive to burglars looking for a vacant home to break into. Hence this Home Security Checklist is a must read for anyone who is going away for any length of time. In addition even if you leave for one day, take a minute to review how you can make your home more secure. Always make your home unattractive to potential burglers.

Home Safety and Home Security Checklist

General Areas that You Should Pay Attention to for Home Security

  • Arrange for a  member of a law enforcement agency do a professional survey?
  • Can anyone hide behind trees and shrubs near windows that are not pruned and well maintained ?
  • Can anyone climb trees, down pipes, or lattice-work to obtain easy access to upper floors?
  • Check to see if you have windows or  skylights that can be removed from the outside or easily broken?
  • Store ladders and tools inside?
  • Remove  hidden house key outside the house?
  • Light all exterior doors  with particular attention to exterior entrances?
  • Trim shrubs blocking the main entrance
  • In addition can it be seen from the street?

Your Doors

  • Exterior doors should be at least 1-3/4 inch thick and made from solid wood or reinforced with metal?
  • Exterior doors should  have heavy duty dead bolts and reinforced door jams?
  • Could anyone gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent, or pet entrance, side door or through the garage?
  • If doors have glass panels can someone break through and defeat the locking mechanism?
  • Can sliding glass doors be easily lifted out from their frames?
  • Exterior lights and security devices are in good working order and protected from breakage?
  • All doors including from the attached garage leading to the house have a dead bolt?
  • Does your overhead garage door have a working electronic door opener?
  • Does your overhead garage door have any loose, broken or missing door panels or hardware?
  • Always  keep the overhead doors closed, and
  • Always keep your car locked inside the garage?
  • Reinforce Windows with locking devices that can be secured in the open position?
  • All screens and storm windows should have reinforced locks?
  • Ground level windows should have guards or grates?
  • Basement windows that are glass should be  protected by grates or security devices?
  • Keep All valuable  items in a high quality fire resistant safe or in off-site safety deposit box?
  • Prepare a complete and current video tape or pictures of your home and all your valuables off-site?
  • Secure All firearms  apart from ammunition?

Fire Safety and Fire Prevention

  • Inspect Heating system by a professional,  for dangerous leaks yearly?
  • In addition make sure there is sufficient air circulation around appliances that are might overheat?
  • Avoid overloaded circuits, long extension cords runs, and too many devices plugged unto one outlet?
  • Clean Fireplaces and  chimney  of dangerous build ups that could catch on fire
  • There is  a protective grate in front of fireplace to prevent sparks, hot logs from rolling into room?
  • Clear Kitchen oven hood of greasy build-up that could cause a fire?
  • Install Smoke detectors on each level and tested weekly?
  • Replace Smoke detector batteries every 12 months or less?
  • There are working fire extinguisher in kitchen, basement, garage, auto?
  • All family members sleep with bedroom door closed to prevent spread of fire, smoke?
  • All family members practice fire drill, known escape routes, designated meeting pace to go outside?
  • Children know how to use the  phone to get help in an emergency?

Checklists While You are Away

  • Check with your insurance company concerning frequency of visits to your home by someone who is looking after your home
  • Arm your Security system?
  • Turn on Automatic timers for lights, radio?
  • Turn down Phones?
  • Make arrangements  for neighbors, a family member or a professional home sitter  to watch your house. In addition cut and the water grass to give house that lived-in look?
  • Avoid any change in normal pattern of opening, shutting drapes, dead give-away lighting patterns?
  • Make arrangements to stop the mail, and newspaper delivery or have someone pick it up daily
  • In addition complete all regular  yard work ?
  • Arrange to have local police give “special attention” for area beat car if offered in your area?

If you do not see something that you think should be on this list, please let us know by leaving a comment. For more checklists associated with vacant homes, click here.




Vacant Home Management Checklists

Vacant Home Management ChecklistsYour about to go on vacation and wondering what you need to do about your home while you are away. We put together Vacant Home Management Checklists that you can use to decide what you need to do about your home depending on were you are going and how long you be away. the home in the picture is another example of a home that is vacant and has been boarded up. Someone needs to check on this home also to make sure that nothing is being damaged to leaking water etc.

This is a check list you should consider if you plan to leave your home unoccupied for any length of time. You should take into account both home maintenance issues, home monitoring and home security issues while you are absent

Home Maintenance

Home maintenance takes into account items that might need repair after storms, lawn care, snow clearing etc. Monitoring is really all about peace of mind. Knowing that someone is checking your home on a regular basis to make sure everything is ok and then advising you of their visit. Home security covers items to make sure that your home does not advertise that you are not home making it attractive to thieves.

Home security is very important to everyone. Not only do you risk losing your value able possessions, many people feel that their personal space has been violated if their home has been broken into. Protect your home by following a few common sense steps, increase your security and avoid leaving your home as an inviting place to visit by burglars.

While it it is not all inclusive, it is a good start and you can add your own personal items to this list or check with local companies for additional security items to be aware of to keep your home secure.

Vacant Home Management Checklists

    • Arrange for  summer maintenance services lawn, shrubs, garden
    • Turn off the main water intake to avoid frozen pipes in the winter if the furnace does not run
    • Shut off your water heater to save energy and to avoid it boiling dry if you turn off the water
    • Turn off all outside water taps
    • Shut off the main water valve in your home
    • Turn off all taps to things such as dishwashers and clothes washers
    • Run the water once a month, flush toilets to avoid toilets running dry from evaporation, run water in all sinks for the same reason
    • Disconnect all electronic items to reduce power requirements and protect devices from electrical surges (Note: only unplug the refrigerator if it is empty)
    • Arrange for yard maintenance in the growing seasons
    • Arrange for plant watering inside and out
    • Hire pool or hot tub maintenance if required
    • Contract Snow clearance in the winter – driveway and walkways
    • Arrange with professional property manager/ house sitter to watch over your house

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