Know your shut-off valves. Few people know where the emergency shut-off valves are located for gas, water and electricity. Take a moment and find them, and make sure everyone in your house knows where to find them. Pro tip: give the water valve a practice twist, as these shut-offs can get jammed from years of not being used.
Plan ahead and find a friend. If you can’t afford a monitored security system, the next best thing is to give the appearance that someone’s home while you’re away. Install lamp timers, keep a radio turned on and tuned to a talk station, and when you’re on vacation, have a friend shovel your walkway or park their car in your driveway. Above all, keep lower-level windows and garage doors closed and all entrances locked.
Smoke detection protection. Every home should have at least one smoke detector on each floor and test the batteries twice a year. Make it easy and do it right before you adjust your clocks in the fall and spring. Smoke detectors last about 10 years. Each time you get a new one, use a permanent marker to write the month and year on the back. (And don’t forget to test your house yearly for other gases like radon.)
Prepare for severe weather. Whether your part of the country is prone to flooding, hurricanes or other natural disasters, take a look around and consider upgrades and simple maintenance to help minimize damage from wind and water. In tornado-prone areas, a safe room is always a smart addition to protect you and your family from the storm. And if a renovation isn’t in your budget, consider creating a home emergency kit to keep your family safe or keeping a supply of water on hand.
Wherever you live, make sure your home and your family are protected based on your specific needs. Contact us today to find out more about ERIE’s homeowners insurance.
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