Whether you’re away for the day, weekend or fornight, you’ll want to make sure your home is as safe as houses! While you concentrate on not forgetting your usual essentials, don’t forget about securing your home too!
Preparing for trips and holidays can be a stressful thing without worrying about your home too. But, to enjoy your break and make sure you return to your home just the way you left it, there are some essential safety tips you should take on board before you leave.
Create the Illusion You’re Still Home
We all remember the scene in Home Alone where Kevin creates a party scene in the window! Ok, you don’t need to go that far, but what you can do is invest in timer switches. They can be set to come on for a period of time in the evening and you can even programme them to your TV so there is noise and light. You could even take it a step further and put a dummy drone camera somewhere in view, ensuring that potential trespassers believe they’re being watched and sending them back the way they came!
Keep an Eye Out
While dummy drone cameras are a great idea, real security cameras are even better. Keep an eye out on your home while you’re away with a security camera or two, and holiday easy with the knowledge that your household will be safe and under surveillance until your return.
Hold the Post
Nothing screams empty house more than piles of post at the door! Cancel any regular deliveries such as food shops or newspapers as well as regular services including gardeners and window cleaners. You can even put mail on hold until you return by contacting the post office.
Utilise Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting can be another great way to deter any potential trespassers from having a nosey at your home while you’re on your holidays. By sticking a few motion-sensitive outdoor lights around your property, you’re sure to send trespassers scurrying the second their intrusion is brought to light!
Talk to Trusted Neighbours or Friends
Ask someone you trust to pop into your house when you’re not in. They can take out the rubbish, bring in mail and even hang some washing out to make it look like you’re still home. Tell them where you’ll be and to contact you if anything were to happen. Maybe even bring them a little something back for their troubles!
Ensure Locks are Secure
Check any back and side gates to make sure locks are completely secure and keep any valuables in a locked box or somewhere safe. Set your house alarm if you have one or consider getting a dummy alarm which will stick to your windows and be highly visible from the outside. You could even make the best of both worlds with a heavy duty alarm padlock, keeping your belongings safe and frightening off any possible thieves.
Don’t Forget the Answering Machine
A ringing phone can be a sure sign that no one is home. Set your answering machine to activate after a few rings or have calls redirected to your mobile phone.
Remove the Spare Key
Many of us leave a spare key under a plant pot or in a secret place in case we forget it. Don’t forget to take it in and put it somewhere safe. If you’re not at home, burglars have more time to search for keys and let themselves in without a peep. Also, make sure all windows and doors are locked properly and that the keys are out of sight.
Keep Curtains Open
Whether to leave curtains open or not is a tricky one, but closed curtains during the day can make it obvious that you’re not home. It’s best to keep them open and not draw any unwanted attention.
Turn Everything Off at the Socket
As well as keeping your home safe from burglars, you’ll want to make sure it’s also safe from potential damage. Aside from things like your trusty fridge that you’ll want to stay running, turn off appliances and remove the plug from the socket. This will not only reduce the risk of fires but save you money too!
Don’t Broadcast Your Trip
It’s hard not to want to let the whole world know how amazing your holiday is, but it’s best to wait until you get home! Posting about going away and posting pictures whilst on holiday will broadcast the fact that your home is empty and you never know who is watching. Make an album of photos when you return and talk about how amazing your holiday was then, people will be just as jealous!
While you’re booking your travel insurance, take a look at your home and contents insurance too! Make sure it’s all up to date and have a copy of the policy to hand, just in case.
While we’re on the subject of forgetting important things, we’ve got a list of your holiday essentials to ensure a stress-free trip. Now all that’s left to do is figure out whether you’ll be spending the day at the beach or the pool… tough call!