Greg shares tips for securing your Saskatchewan home while on vacation. 800 CHAB radio presents Ask the Expert with Greg Marcyniuk of Heritage Insurance located in Moose Jaw.

Here's a transcript of this episode:

Rob Carney: With Greg Marcyniuk from Heritage Insurance in Downtown Moose Jaw. Greg, the last time we spoke we were talking about burglars and burglary. And burglar proofing our homes. Today we want to talk about going on vacation, it's that time of the year. Well any time is a good time to go on vacation. But with summer coming, people are going to be taking off. Keep in mind things we don't want to do, and we also need to know what to do if we are burglarized. Your show.

Greg Marcyniuk: Yep, that's correct, Rob, thank you. First of all, I think one of the things we do not want to do is, you don't want to install a name plate on the front of your house. Because that burglar can use that information, get your home phone number, call, see if nobody is there. The other thing is, don't leave a note in the mailbox saying, "Hey, we're going away." So, "Help yourself." Basically is what that's saying. Don't leave any spare keys in obvious places such as under a pot, under the doormat or in your mailbox. 

There's lots of good ways that you can get those keys hidden. Again, don't leave cash and your handbags in plain sight in your home. And, again, if you're going out in the back, make sure you leave that front door or, actually, all doors locked. Now, when you are going on vacation, things you want to do: Stop all mail delivery. Make sure, arrange for a person to come and cut your grass, we typically hire someone. Or, this time of year, we haven't had any snow, but have someone shovel your snow. 

Also, maintain normal lighting patterns. Purchase timers just so it makes like the house is actually lived in. Ask a neighbor to put your garbage bin out in front of your house so it looks like somebody is there. Again, have a radio or TV on a timer. Ask a neighbor to park in your drive way. Arrange for someone to pick up any fliers that are dropped off. And, as well, don't talk about your vacation with strangers or service people, and don't post it on Facebook. I just see that all the time...

Rob: Every day! 

Greg: Oh! And, you know, the criminals are just looking for it. Again, with burglars, be very conscientious of that. And use your work address on any luggage tags, so potential burglars don't look at that. And again, lock your garage door. People can jimmy, get through, on a garage door opener and go in that way. So make sure, if you do have an attached garage. 

Now, if you are burglarized, what you do? Don't stay. Always think, "Safety first." Never confront a burglar or block his exit route. Immediately go to a neighbor's or use your cell phone, call 911, get the police. They should go in and check the place and secure the place. Don't go in there because the person that's doing that, usually, could be high on drugs or has got problems. You just never know how they are psychologically. 

So, definitely. And then upon discovering the break in, make sure that you, again, call the police, and then contact your insurance broker. Just one other word with people that are going on vacation. A lot of people don't realize, after you're away from your home for 48 hours. If it is not monitored for any sort of temperature, any water sensors, by an alarm system. You do have to have somebody come and check it every 24 hours. Unless, again, it varies from insurance company. But you have to, in most instances, if you don't have an alarm system, you'll have to drain the water and shut the water of as well. So, if those things aren't done, your furnace quits, you're not going to have any insurance, So, again, it's very important when you do go on vacation, talk to a broker, ask him what are the rules for your insurance policy. 

Rob: Yeah, you can find those rules and these tips online, right? 

Greg: Correct., you can check out online and you can call us here, or stop in, and see any of us at the corner of Fairford and 1st Avenue West.

(Video transcription by Speechpad)
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