Holidays should be fun - a time for you to relax and unwind on a well-deserved break. You don’t want to waste energy worrying about your house, or worse, coming back to find your home has been burgled or damaged in your absence.
Follow these 8 simple tips to help keep your home safe, giving you peace of mind so you can really kick back and enjoy the break!
1. Lock up! Remember to lock up and close all the doors and windows! This sounds like an obvious tip, but in the hurry and excitement of going away it can be surprisingly easy to overlook. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it’s been recently serviced, and that you turn it on before you leave.
2. Social media: Don’t advertise your absence on social media. When you post those holiday snaps and your current location you’re letting the world know that your house is empty.
3. Where there’s light… Think about installing sensor lights outside, and timers for lights inside the house. This helps give the impression that your house is lived in. Did you know you can even set timers for the radio, so it sounds like there is activity inside your home? Other than this, turn off any electronics you’re not using—this protects equipment against a power surge and saves you money on your power bill!
4. Neighbourhood watch: Tell a trusted neighbour or friend about your absence, so they can keep an eye on your house and collect your mail.
5. Key to security: Even though it can be convenient to hide a spare key, you won’t need it while you are away…and you certainly don’t want to leave it where a burglar can find it! Similarly, hide your spare car keys and garage openers - it’s not worth leaving these on display as easy pickings!
6. Tidy up before you go: Put away your outdoor valuables like gardening equipment, and hide small items such as cameras or jewellery around the house. Also think about pruning trees and shrubs near your house - this improves street visability of your windows, and may also reduce the chance of trees causing storm damage to your home.
7. Not just the house: Remember to lock your car, and secure it in the garage if you have one. Even keeping your car in a carport will help to protect it from the damaging effects of extreme weather while you are away. If you don't have off-street parking, leave your car somewhere it can easily be seen, such as under a streetlamp.
And finally …
8. Cover yourself: make sure your home and contents insurance is up to date, so you are not out of pocket for any unforseen emergencies around the house, or in the unfortunate case of a break-in.