We all look forward to a well-earned summer holiday and there’s lots of planning and preparation before you set off but don’t forget to ensure your home is safe and secure. The last thing you need on your return is to find that your family property has been broken into. Here’s a little reminder on how to prepare your home for your holiday absence.
A forthcoming trip is very exciting but do not advertise the fact that you are going away, and that your property will be unoccupied, on social media. This could actually invalidate your home insurance, should you need to claim. Just tell family and close friends. You can post all of your fabulous photos on your return and show everyone what a great trip you had.
Make sure to lock all of your windows securely with your key, and do not have the key within sight for anyone lurking outside, peeking in. Put your lights on a timer – whether that is one plugged into your socket to operate a lamp or via your smart phone. Schedule the on/off times and then relax, knowing that it looks like someone is in. Set your security system when you leave. It’s an obvious one, but worth a reminder.
If you have a friendly neighbour coming in to kindly water plants or care for pets whilst you are away, they might be happy to pull blinds and curtains and make your home look lived-in. They could remove any post from inside your front door. Also, ask them to put your bins out for the weeks that you are away. All to keep up the pretence of you being at home should anyone be watching. You can return the favour and look after their home when they go away.
Hide any spare keys for your house or cars inside your home where thieves will not find them. Obvious places tend to be underwear drawers in the bedroom, or a pretend food can in the kitchen cupboards. Find somewhere other than these places. The best advice is to put your valuables inside a safe if you have one or use a security deposit box for the length of your trip.
If you’re not taking your car on your trip, put it in the garage. Offer your driveway to a neighbour to park their car on, so that your home looks occupied.
As well as your actual home, don’t forget to check your garden too. Ensure there is nothing in your garden that potential burglars could use to access your house – securely lock away any ladders or tools. Mow your lawn just before you go away so it won’t look too overgrown when you return.
A good safety tip is to turn off all appliances at the wall – except for your fridge and freezer. This will reduce the risk of fire in your home and will also save you money on your electricity bills. On that note, avoid wasting energy by checking that your heating and hot water are not on whilst you are away. Before you set off have a final check in your kitchen. You don’t want to return to any food in your fridge or fruit bowl that has gone off.
Now you can head off for a wonderful break, knowing your property is safe and secure. If you’re heading abroad, double check you've packed your passports. Happy holiday!