Planning for Securing Your Studio When You’re Not There
What can you do to ensure that your studio is okay while you are away?
“I ve been told to plan for the worst and hope for the best. It turns out that is really good advice,” says Blacksmith + CERF+ Beneficiary Steven Bronstein, after a fire destroyed his forge while he was away.
1. Studio Security
- Don’t make it obvious that you’re away by:
- Putting indoor and outdoor lighting on timers
- Leaving a car in your driveway (if possible)
- Asking a friend or neighbor to stop by at least once a day to check on the property
- Make it difficult to gain entry to your studio with:
- good locks on the doors and windows
- strong frames on the doors and windows
- Don’t let thieves take your most valuable items. Store them in a quality safe or in a safe deposit box
- Install an alarm system
- Review CERF+’s studio security checklist for more tips
2. Studio Systems
- Reduce the likelihood of a studio fire while you’re away (or at any time!) by:
- Having a licensed electrician check your studio’s electrical system and a qualified professional check your studio’s heating system for safety and reliability
- Properly storing and disposing of combustible and flammable liquids, oily rags, and other hazardous materials. Review CERF+’s hazardous material safety checklist
- Making sure the sprinkler system (if your building has a sprinkler system) is inspected periodically by a professional
- Addressing your landscaping if you are in a wildfire prone region
- Reviewing CERF+’s fire risk checklist for more tips
- A broken pipe can cause major water damage. It’s especially important during the heating season to make sure that no part of your studio’s plumbing system freezes, which will lead to burst pipes
- There are some preventive measures you can take to minimize damage from minor flooding at your studio location while you are away. Review CERF+’s flood risk checklist
- If your studio is in a building that includes other businesses, work with the property owner and the other businesses to better understand how your various activities might present risks and how you can collectively reduce risks. CERF+’s “Think Like a Building Inspector” checklist can help engage others in the discussion
- If your art business is depends on an online presence, make sure you are able to access your web accounts in a secure fashion while you are away
- It’s important that your vital art business records exist in more than one secure location. Many artists have lost all business records, artwork samples, and/or archival material because the only copies were located in a studio that was lost in a disaster. Review CERF+’s business records protection tips
3. Staying Connected to Home Base
- Consider having a trusted friend or neighbor keep an eye on your studio. Let them know when you will be away, how to get in touch with you, and what kinds of situations would suggest their taking action. If appropriate, provide the friend or neighbor with a spare set of keys to your studio.
- Create and implement an emergency communications plan that includes measures that help you stay in touch with vital business and personal contacts while you are away from the studio
4. Insurance Matters
- Even after taking all reasonable steps to protect your studio while you are away, losses can still occur. Having insurance coverage for your studio and then periodically reviewing your coverage, are essential business practices. Review the business insurance tips and resources in CERF+’s Insurance Hub
Great! You are “on the road” to making what is probably your most valuable business asset–your studio–more secure when you are away! Because you will have enough to think about during your travels, these preparedness tips will lighten your load!