Protect Your Home Whilst on Holidays
- 16 January 2019
When leaving for a holiday, protecting your home is just as important as protecting the belongings you have with you while you’re away. If you’ve only recently bought your first home and you’re about to head off on your first trip since moving in, you might be a little concerned about keeping your home safe from unexpected events and uninvited guests while it’s empty. Luckily, there are a number of simple steps you can take to keep your home safe while you’re on holidays.
1. Invest in a monitoring system
If you didn’t have a home monitoring system or alarm system installed when you had your home built, this might be something worth considering now that you’re thinking of heading away. Nowadays, there are plenty of affordable options for monitoring your home, from wireless doorbell cameras (which you can even install yourself) to fully-integrated back-to-base home alarm and monitoring systems. Many of these options allow you to login and view video of your home from your smartphone or computer. A quick search online will show you a range of options for all budgets and home sizes.
2. Tell your neighbours
One of the best ways to protect your home whist you’re on holidays is to let your neighbours know when you’ll be away, and if you’re expecting any guests. Get to know your neighbours after you’ve moved into your new home and you’ll have an unofficial neighbourhood watch program looking out for your property. If you’ve got friends in the area who are also happy to water your plants every few days, you’ll also be able to ensure your garden is still looking great when you get back.
3. Invest in timers for lights
One of the best ways to deter potential thieves is to make your home appear to be occupied. Leaving a light on inside or having timers or sensor lights around the home can make it difficult for burglars or opportunistic thieves to tell whether or not someone is home. Of course, if you’re going away for a few weeks, you might not want to leave the same light on. Investing in timers and motion-sensor outdoor lighting can be a great deterrent and can save you on energy costs.
4. Don’t leave spare keys out
We’re all tempted to leave out a spare key for visiting friends and family, or in case we misplace our own, and thieves know this only too well. The usual spots beneath the welcome mat or in the potted plant near the front door are prime targets for thieves looking to find an easy way into your home. If you’ve got to leave out a spare key, it’s worthwhile having a lock key box installed on your property, which is bolted to a wall and requires a pin code to open.
5. Hold your mail
Nothing shouts “we’re not home” like a mailbox overflowing with letters. If you’re planning on going away for more than a week or two, you might like to have your mail held at the local post office. Organising this means simply popping down to the office and filling out a form or completing one online. Holding your mail has the added bonus of ensuring that none of your parcels end up being returned to sender if you’re not at home to sign for or collect them.
6. Lock away your valuables
In the event that thieves do find their way into your home, they needn’t make off with all your valuables. Locking away jewellery, cash, electronics and other valuable items in a home safe can protect against even the most insistent thieves. Having a home safe bolted to the floor is another added measure you can take, to ensure that they don’t simply take the safe with them. Consult your local locksmith to have one installed, or order one and install it yourself, if you’re particularly handy.
7. Switch off devices
Finally, be sure to switch off any unnecessary powered devices throughout the home, to avoid potential short-outs or electrical fires. Although unlikely, removing this potential hazard from your home while you’re away takes just a few minutes and will help you rest assured that your home is safe. Be sure to check things like ovens, hair straighteners, washer and dryers, and other heated devices, and consider unplugging televisions, fans, heaters, and kettles. Switching off devices which are often in standby mode can also save you money on electricity.