When you go away for a holiday or even a short break for one or two nights, it’s important to protect your home whilst you’re away. Here are some tips to keep your home safe and secure when nobody’s home.
It’s important that at first glance your home doesn’t look empty, or it could look like an easy target. Before going away, mow the lawn and ask a neighbour to water your plant pots to make sure the garden doesn’t look unkempt.
Leave the curtains and blinds open, because it’s more noticeable during the day that there’s no activity within the house. Use timers for lamps in the hallway and sitting room so that there is a light on and the place doesn’t look pitch dark once the sun has gone down. Time the lighting to go off at the time you’d usually go to bed.
Ask a neighbour or family member to visit the house to check on it and to lift any newspapers, post and flyers from the doormat. This is a sure sign that the owners are away. You can also ask Royal Mail to hold mail whilst you are away.
Before going away make sure you have cover and that it’s valid for whilst you are holiday, as there may be exclusions that could render it invalid if you are away for a certain number of days.
Keep valuables out of sight and don’t leave anything where it can be seen from a window. If you put things away or hide them, don’t put them in obvious places such as a sock drawer, fake food can or in the freezer. Burglars are wise to these hiding places. Given that most burglars are opportunists who want to be in and out as quickly as possible, it’s better to be clever about where you leave things for example you could hide it in the loft, in your children’s bedroom or remove them from the house and ask a friend or family member to look after them whilst you are away.
Don’t tell anyone outside of friends and family that you are going on holiday. Don’t post on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter post that you are at the airport waiting to get on your flight, or having a lovely time and don’t want to come home! You don’t know who will read your comments or tell others that you are away on holiday.
By using a home alarm and having cameras installed you can really put off an opportunist from breaking into your home. They will be more likely to move on to a property that won’t have these features for fear of getting caught and drawing attention. There are many apps out there that allow you to see who’s in your home at any given time and alert you to when there’s movement in an empty home. You can even get an app that alerts you when there’s a ring on the door and allows you to ask who’s there, giving the impression that someone is home but simply not available.
Make sure you have adequate travel insurance and don’t put your home address on your luggage. Make sure you lock your luggage too.