While You Were Out: Most Common Home Disasters That May Occur While You’re on Vacation

home robbery

Everyone loves a nice trip away from the ordinary and familiar. Whether you’re visiting family for the holidays, setting out on a relaxing summer cruise or embarking on a spontaneous road trip, many Americans view vacations as the best way to unwind and decompress from their stressful everyday lives.

Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop the moment you cross city limits, and life has a way of throwing you and your home curveballs when you least expect it. If you’re preparing to go on a trip – short or long – it’s vital you recognize the risks of leaving your home unoccupied so you can protect yourself against any nasty disasters that may affect your home while you’re gone.

Robbery
When you’re overflowing with excitement about your next trip, you’ll want to share it with everyone, including your religious or community group, family and friends. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to express your excitement, divulging that information on social media could cost you.

According to a UK-based survey, four out of five convicted burglars used Facebook and Twitter posts to choose their target homes.1 Specifically, thieves search for profile updates detailing a vacation itinerary to ensure they won’t be caught and their crimes will go unnoticed for some time, allowing them time to disappear. Similarly, if you’ve just made a large, valuable purchase such as a television or computer, posting that information on social media is just “sweetening the pot” for burglars looking for a lucrative target. So, while it’s fun to boast a little about your trip to Hawaii next week, keeping that information off social media and restricted to face-to-face conversations could keep your home and belongings safe.

However, social media isn’t the sole reason robberies occur. In the same UK survey, an equal number of burglars – four out of five – also stated an alarm system would have turned them off the property completely, despite knowing the family was out.1 If a security system is too far out of your price range, getting a dog or reinforced doors and windows will help deter criminals as well. Burglars are just looking for an easy score. If you don’t make it easy, they’ll probably move along.

Fire or Flood

If a storm is headed your way, your home may be in for some dangerous conditions. Lightning and heavy rain could cause nearly irreparable damage to your house if you don’t prepare it before you leave. With no one around for a few days or even longer, leaks could go unchecked, leading to serious water damage and flooding. Have a plumber check your home’s piping for leaks or existing water damage and your lawn’s drainage before you go away to ensure none of that rainwater gets into your home. You may also want to consider having your water heater serviced before going on a long vacation, as a failed water heater could result in extensive flooding.

Lightning could also cause major trouble while you’re out. Without professionally installed lightning rods or protected exterior cables and electrical units, such as your HVAC system, your home could be in danger of being struck by lightning. If the lightning strike doesn’t start a flame, a short in the wiring or your HVAC system might.

Even without a storm, your HVAC unit may still be at risk of starting a fire. According to the National Fire Protection Association, HVAC units were involved in 7,400 structure fires in 2010, accounting for $207 million in property damage.2 If you can’t even remember the last time you had your entire system cleaned out – not just the air filter – it’s best to do so before you leave on vacation. Dust and debris can easily ignite when they begin to stifle air flow in the ducts.

Additionally, your unit may have faulty parts that can cause an electrical fire while you’re gone. Have a professional technician clean and service your unit before leaving for your trip.

Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away with Kay Heating and Air Conditioning

Your home is one of your most important assets, so it’s only natural you’d want to protect it even when you’re not around. Luckily, by staying vigilant and preparing your home for your vacation, you can enjoy total peace of mind.
A major part of keeping your home safe is ensuring your HVAC system is running properly and efficiently. Before Greensboro homeowners set off on their grand adventures, they should give Kay Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. a call to clean and service their home’s unit. To schedule your service today, contact us online or call 336-274-6323.

1 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8789538/Most-burglars-using-Facebook-and-Twitter-to-target-victims-survey-suggests.html
2 http://www.nfpa.org/News-and-Research/Fire-statistics-and-reports/Fire-statistics/Fire-causes/Appliances-and-equipment/Home-fires-involving-air-conditioning-or-related-equipment

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