Whether traveling this summer or staying home, summer can be a time for fun, family and new adventures. In order to enjoy the warm weather while at the same time keeping your home safer, a little preparation can avoid unpleasant surprises.
Summer is a season for storms. So, whether traveling or at home, it’s best to keep informed about the weather. Severe storms may mean a change of plans. If you are away from home, do you have an emergency contact who can monitor your home while you are away? Let them know about any storm warnings.
While already expecting an active hurricane season, Colorado State University recently updated its 2021 hurricane forecast. It increased the number of named storms that it forecast to 20 for this season. For those on the East or Gulf coasts, hurricanes may hit their town but tornados, thunderstorms, hail and the resulting flooding can strike in more areas—and with less warning.
Before you leave home, do any maintenance that will lessen the impact of storms. Cut down or remove dead trees or branches that might damage your home or a neighbor’s property during a storm. Bring in any outdoor furniture and other items that can be blown around in a strong wind.
To avoid some common water damage issues, clean drains, check for leaking pipes, and check that sump pumps are working. Check your roof for loose or damaged areas.
To avoid possible damage if the power is suddenly restored after an outage, unplug or turn off unnecessary equipment in the home. This may also lessen the risk of fire.
For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. —Benjamin Franklin
If you will be away for an extended period, it is good to check with your insurance agent/company about your coverage during that time.
Test smoke detectors and burglar alarms. Make sure that the alerts for these go to your local emergency contact.
Check that all locks on doors and windows are working correctly, including on any doors from the garage into the house. If you have smart home devices, assess whether they need to be upgraded—more cameras added or positioned differently, more motion detection lighting, interior as well as exterior cameras, etc. Check that you can access these devices on your phone when you travel—and of course use a strong password on the accounts for these devices.
The items mentioned above will help keep your home safer if you stay home also. Some tasks can be done at the last minute, such as bringing in outdoor furniture. Some tasks may need to be started before storms are on their way. Completing any exterior maintenance prior to bad weather reduces the chance that damaged roofing will result in a leak or a dead tree branch will hit your home.
In addition, have you reviewed your insurance policy recently? Does it cover any additions/upgrades completed over the last few years? Have you discussed with your insurance agent whether you need flood or earthquake insurance?
Check if you have enough fire extinguishers, that they are the right type and that they haven’t expired.
Start or improve an emergency kit. American Red Cross provides tips, information on planning for emergencies and many checklists about safety, fire prevention and disaster preparation.
Fireworks, Grills and Campfires
Whether staying home or not, fireworks, grills and campfires are another fun part of summer. However, they are also potentially hazardous if basic safety precautions are not taken. While enjoying them, keep them away from structures, children and pets, to avoid injuries and fires.
For homeowners, your home’s replacement valuation can always use an update, especially in this time of rapidly rising costs. Adequate coverage is the best failsafe to protect your biggest investment. e2Value’s estimators allow you to quickly and easily value homes of any size or age. You are able to value the smaller older homes and newer larger high value homes and everything in between. Contact us for more information about our estimator tools or a replacement cost valuation for your home.