There is nothing worse than getting back from a relaxing holiday to find out something terrible has happened to your house. Whether it be a leak, a burglary, or even a fire, the stress you managed to shake during your holiday instantly comes back, feeling twice as worse.
These things are generally just bad luck, and decent home insurance and contents insurance policies will cover your losses. However, there are things that you can do to reduce the chances of your home being burgled or damaged while you are away.
Here are our tips for how to keep your home secure while you’re on holiday:
Ensure you’ve done all the basics of keeping your home secure
By this, we mean the simple things like setting your burglar alarm (if you have one), moving all your valuable garden furniture inside or into your garage, and moving all valuables out of sight and away from windows where thieves can spot them.
An open window is an open invitation to thieves, so make sure you close all of your windows before leaving, too. All of this might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised at how often people make these simple mistakes when leaving their home to go on holiday.
These things are your first line of defence when it comes to keeping your home secure while you are away.
Make your house look occupied
Keeping your home secure is mostly about making it look ‘lived in’. Thieves are unlikely to break into a house that looks occupied, so try and make your house look as lived in as you can before you leave.
If you have a garden, mow your lawn to prevent it from looking as overgrown as the Amazon rainforest, and cancel all of your regular deliveries, such as newspapers, to stop your post from building up. If you have a milkman, make sure you remember to temporarily cancel your milk deliveries as well, as thieves will get suspicious if they see bottles of milk sitting outside your house for days.
As long as you have no valuables in plain sight, it can also help to leave your curtains and blinds open, too, as this indicates that somebody is home.
Favours from neighbours
If you can, it is a good idea to ask your neighbour to do you a few favours while you’re on holiday. Just ask them to do a few general checks to make sure that everything is in order, such as collecting all of your post and free newspapers so that it doesn’t build up too much.
Getting them to open and close curtains and blinds and to turn lights on and off will help, too. These subtle changes will help to make it look like people are in the house.
Turn off electronics
Turn all of your electronics off at the wall before you leave. This will stop electronics from overheating, preventing any electrical fires. Items left on standby are particularly at risk of this. It may be unlikely, but it is an easy way of preventing a serious problem, so the only thing you should trust to leave on standby is your fridge-freezer.
Similarly, you should only keep your central heating on if you are going on holiday during winter. This will ensure that your house doesn’t drop to a potentially dangerous temperature in your absence.
Keep off social media
As eager as you may be to boastfully show everyone how wonderful a time you are having, you should delay posting those holiday snaps on social media until you get back home.
Numerous stories have emerged of people getting burgled while they were on holiday after thieves saw that they were away from home on social media. To prevent this from happening, only tell someone that you are going on holiday if they need to know. Then, when you get back, flood your social media pages with as many holiday pictures as you like.
This should not be construed as advice and is for guidance only.