|Unoccupied buildings are susceptible to damage especially when Mother Nature sends an unpredictable wave of frigid air across the country.
We usually associate freezing pipes with cold climate states, but temperatures low enough to freeze or damage pipes can happen anywhere in the country. The water damage can be more severe when pipes burst in areas considered to be “warm” because proper precautions and action plans are not in place.
Here are some tips to aid policyholders in protecting their properties:
When small problems go undetected, they become big problems. Business and rental property owners should prepare for events or seasons when buildings may go unoccupied for a planned or unplanned period of time.
The FBI reports that nearly 400,000 burglaries occur between November and December each year in the United States, but some burglars can be deterred; here are some tips:
- Do not hide spare keys under flowerpots or doormats.
- Use a timer to turn household lights on and off even if you’re not home. Burglars watch for occupancy cues especially unlit homes.
- Do not display your Christmas tree and presents in front of easy-access windows.
- Keep your windows and doors, including sliding doors, secured and locked.
- Make sure you’re home to accept any packages that are scheduled for delivery. If not, request that the packages are left with a trusted neighbor, the post office, or shipped to your work address.
- Request to suspend your mail if you are going out of town or on vacation.
- Do not leave notes on your door announcing that you’re away from home.
- Do not leave empty boxes from high-priced items outside your home for trash collection. Burglars would love nothing more to swipe your brand new flat screen TV, your children’s newest game system, and your computer.
- Ask a trusted neighbor to check up on your home if you’re out of town.
- Arm your security system if you have one installed and monitored. Studies show that homeowners with security systems only arm them 50% of the time.