My Essential Guide to Keeping Your Home Safe When on Holiday

It’s that time of year when the schools have broken up, and everyone books their much-needed getaways. Some of us go on weekend breaks; others can be gone for weeks at a time. It doesn’t matter how long you’re gone for, there will always be one huge worry at the back of your mind. “What about the house?” There are so many things that could go wrong while you’re away; it doesn’t bear thinking about. There’s the risk of a break-in, fire or even floods. My essential guide is going to put all those worries at ease. Here’s how to keep your home safe when on holiday.

Invest in a House-Sitter
If you’ve got the funds and know of someone you trust, ask them to look after the house while you’re sunning yourself on the beach. This is a surefire way to make sure that it’s kept protected when you’re on vacation. If you’re asking a friend to do it they may not even want payment. Just make sure you fill the fridge up before you leave and let them help themselves. There are also professional house sitters available, who will be fully insured. You can just ask someone to come and check now and then, if you can’t find anyone willing to stay in your house for the whole time you’re away.


Stop all Deliveries
If you usually get papers or milk delivered to your home, make sure that you let them know to stop while you’re away. You can even tell your local post office to hold your mail for you, for however long you’re gone. If papers or post build up on the doorstep, then potential thieves may notice you’re away. This is all the sign they need that your home is ready to be robbed. Make sure everything is stopped and ask your neighbours to check periodically. If anything is left on the doorstep, it could be a massive giveaway.

Light Timers
This is a great idea to deter thieves! You can buy light timers that will turn different lights on and off, at times you set. This will make your home looked lived in and will put potential burglars off. You just plug them into a socket and plug your lamps in. You can then set what time of the day you want the lights to come on. Try setting them for early evening, before turning off when you’d usually go to bed.

Curtains
Again, you want people to think that you’re still home. While it may be tempting to leave your curtains closed when you’re away, this could attract thieves. After all, who keeps their curtains closed for two weeks? It can also be difficult for neighbours to see if someone is in your home if the curtains are shut! Make sure you keep them open, even if it does feel a little strange.

Sturdy Locks
There are some locks that are easier to get into than others. In fact, some can be bypassed simply by using a credit card. You’re going to want to ask a locksmith to change the locks in your home if they’re not very sturdy. All doors should have a deadbolt on them where possible, to stop people from breaking in. It’s only a small change, but it can make a big difference. Consider locks in your windows too, if you can.


Don’t Blab Online
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re excited about a holiday. You’ll put pictures up on Instagram and updates on Facebook. You’re practically asking for someone to rob you if you do this. Especially if your profile isn’t set to private. Or if you accept everyone who’s ever sent you a friend request. Make sure you don’t advertise that you’re away on any public profiles. Wait until you get home to put those photos up!

Let the Police Know
While it’s not a good idea to tell the whole of the internet, you may want to let the police know you’re going away. Especially if you live in a small town where everyone knows each other. They may be extra vigilant when driving near your home. If you’re going away any longer than a week, then this is a top tip!

Remove Spare Keys
Nobody is fooled by that plastic rock in your front garden. We all know there’s a spare key in there! Thieves will be looking out for additional keys, so be aware. If you usually hide one somewhere you think is safe, they will probably find it. The best thing to do is leave your spare key with a friend or neighbour. This will also encourage them to check your home once in a while. It’s a win-win situation.

Leave Your Insurance Info
If someone is going to be checking your home, make sure they know where your insurance information is. If a water pipe bursts, they will then be able to arrange for it to be fixed while you’re away. This will ensure you don’t have to come home and deal with a disaster zone! If you don’t have home insurance, then you definitely need to invest before you go away.

Unplug Everything
By everything, I mean everything! There’s a greater risk of fire if you leave anything plugged in when you’re away. In fact, the only thing you should leave plugged in is your fridge and freezer. Unless you want a melted puddle of peas for when you get home. Don’t forget to keep your light timers plugged in too. Other than that, everything else must come out.

Extra Security
If you’ve got the money and you’re anxious, you can always invest in extra security measures. A burglar alarm is an excellent way to not just catch thieves, but to deter them too. If they see that you have an alarm installed, they won’t even think about it. There are plenty of other security measures you can put in place if you can’t quite afford an alarm system.

This is a massive guide, but it’s an important one! Everyone wants their home to be safe when they’re away. Follow as many of these tips as you can, to ensure you don’t come back to any nasty surprises.