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Loss Prevention Corner

"Loss Prevention Corner" is a compilation of hundreds of practical tips to help you reduce your chances of having a loss, or to minimize your damage if you do. The tips are divided into categories such as Fire, Water Damage, Burglary, Identity Theft, and many more!

Vacationing – Protecting your House While You Are Traveling

Leave blinds partially closed when you're out of town. Folks can't see in, but the place doesn't look locked up tight.


When going on a vacation, give your itinerary to a trusted neighbor, friend, or relative, and arrange for them to check your house periodically. Give them dates and telephone numbers, plus your auto license number and an extra house key.


Arrange for a neighbor to pick up your mail, newspaper and parcels, or have the post office hold delivery until you return.


Arrange, in advance, for pet care, as kennels are often booked solid during peak travel seasons.


Lock vehicles that remain at your home.


Lower telephone ringer volume so it cannot be heard from outside the house.


When you return check the batteries in all of your smoke detectors.


Consider notifying the post office, police, and a neighborhood watch program, if one exists, that you will be on vacation.


Consider shutting off your water at the main. A burst pipe can cause a lot of damage if undetected for days on end. However, you may not be able to shut off the water if your heating system is dependant on water. Check with your heating contractor.**


Set timers on lights, and maybe a radio.


Clean out refrigerators.


Unplug non-essential electrical appliances especially electronic devices such as computers, microwaves, televisions, etc.


Leave answering machine on but be aware of what your message says.


Lock doors and windows.


Set fire and burglar alarms.


Cut shrubs below window level and trim trees away from house. Obscured doors and windows are targets for forcible entry.


During the winter months, set your thermostat at 60 degrees and have the house inspected at least every other day in case of furnace malfunction.


Make sure there is enough oil in the storage tank to heat the home while you are away.


Leave the doors of bathrooms, vanities, and the kitchen cabinet under the sink open. This will allow more heat to get to the plumbing.


A well-illuminated house is less likely to be a target for burglars and vandals. Programmable timers and motion sensors are fairly inexpensive and can be used to turn on interior and exterior lights. They should be set for different times to make it appear as if someone is home.


Move valuable items away from windows.


Consider adding a low-temperature alarm system. These can notify you (or others), by phone, if the heat fails. They are priced quite reasonably, and can be added to your existing alarm system, or can be set up to work on their own.


** Personal note: Since our heating system is “forced hot air”, and we can shut off the main water valve without jeopardizing our heat, we shut off our water main when we are going to be away from home even for only one night!! We do this regardless of the season – pipes can break any time of the year!!


Before leaving, make sure the premiums for your homeowner and auto policies are paid and that no policies will expire. Especially if you are going on an extended trip or are a seasonal resident, ensure no payments will be due while you're away. Taking proper safety precautions will leave your home better protected and allow you to travel with more peace of mind.



During my 27 years as a Property and Casualty Insurance Agent in the Greater Boston area, I have been collecting, from many sources, lists of dos and don'ts related to various areas of Loss Prevention (also known as "Risk Management"). "Loss Prevention Corner' is a compilation of those Risk Management tips that we offer as POSSIBLE SUGGESTIONS. Each of these tips may or may not be appropriate at all times, since every situation is different. The tips are here for your consideration. You must decide which of them is right for you.

Michael A. Norman
Our Video Legacy / Owner









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Weekly Tip: Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. That way you will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place!