MSP offers tips to keep your home safe during extended travel

As cold weather drags on, some people escape to warmer climates for the winter, leaving homes potentially vulnerable.
Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 2:37 PM EST
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IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WLUC) -As cold weather drags on, some people, otherwise known as “snowbirds,” will escape to warmer climates for the winter. This leaves their homes empty for potentially several months. The Michigan State Police (MSP) wants those home owners to take precautions.

The MSP said one great way to do that is to invest in a home security system.

“It’s a great way for you to see what is going on in your house in real-time. Some will alert you if somebody is in your house. Some can be connected to your heating system, so you know if the temperature is dropping in your house or there is something wrong with your furnace,” said Geno Basanese, MSP Iron Mountain Post community service trooper.

Basanese said a common mistake people make is sharing photos on social media when they are away.

“They want to let their friends know what they’re doing, but it is also showing individuals that you aren’t home,” Basanese explained.

Basanese recommended instead posting photos once the vacation is over. The MSP trooper said home burglaries are rare and not currently an increasing issue, but can always happen.

Homeowners can lose thousands of dollars worth of personal property in a robbery. Upper Peninsula Insurance Agency said having good home insurance coverage can help replace stolen items.

“A basic homeowners policy covers about 70 percent of content value, versus whatever the building is insured for. On a renter’s policy, you pick the amount that you want, based on how much you have,” said William Lysinger, Upper Peninsula Insurance Agency agent & owner.

Basanese said if you are leaving for an extended period of time, you should let someone know that you trust that you will be gone, and ask them to check on your property.