Keeping Your Home Safe When On Holiday
Summer has arrived! Bright and sunny days, and lighter nights are just some of the reasons to be excited for summertime. But what is the most exciting part of the summer…holidays!
It is the busiest time of the year for travel agents, with families of all ages opting to spend a few weeks abroad sunning it up, topping up their suntan and living their best life. But, it can also be a time that the crime rate levels go up, as your home is left unattended.
We’re looking at ways you can help keep your home safe and secure during your holiday, and while some of the following tips may be common and pretty obvious, you will be surprised at what you can sometimes forget to do as you officially get into ‘holiday mode’.
Some of these tips are particularly useful if you’re a recent first-time buyer and still adjusting to living life on your own!
Lock up EVERYTHING
This is the most obvious one, and it goes without saying that if you’re ever leaving your property, whether it’s for a few minutes or a few weeks, all doors and windows should be closed and locked properly.
We know in the summer season it can get very hot, and temptation is there to crack open a window to let the air breathe through the home, but even leaving a bathroom window or back bedroom window open could make your home a target for home invasion.
Don’t forget to check all areas throughout the property…yes we’re including garden rooms, garages and garden sheds!
If a family member, friend or trusted neighbour is coming around to water the plants or feed the pets, be sure that they have all the keys they need and are fully aware to lock every door and window once they’ve finished doing what they need to do. A written note with instructions could be useful.
It’s important to remember that if you don’t secure your home properly and something was to happen, then the insurance company are unlikely to pay you a dime.
Hide important items such as keys
If the worst-case scenario was to happen and your home does get broken into, you want to at least ensure some of your most valuables are not an open target too.
When it comes to cars and motorbikes, you will want to make sure you hide all the vehicle keys in a safe and secure area, or better yet take them on holiday with you. We are always surprised to hear tales of people leaving keys in the car or most obvious place. That is like Christmas coming early for thieves.
Conceal signs that you’re not at home
If you’re thinking of enjoying a long holiday abroad, there are bound to be some telltale signs that you aren’t home. You should consider trying to conceal the signs as best as possible. Things such as letters and junk mail overflowing in the letter box and onto the floor, overgrown grass on the front garden and withered flowers are the obvious signs that point to an unattended home.
If you have a family member or friend nearby, or your close friends with a local neighbour, maybe ask them if they can occasionally check in on your home, and ensure the letterbox isn’t overflowing. If you don’t want to trouble them with asking, Royal Mail offer a Keepsafe service that offers homeowners the opportunity the service of keeping hold of your mail for up to two months. If you’re only going away for a week or two, Keepsafe will hold your mail for up to 17 days for £21. It’s worth noting that it takes up to five days to setup though, so make sure you give yourself enough time to do it.
Don’t forget to cancel any milk or grocery deliveries you may have, until you’re back home. This will also help you save a bit money in the process too. For even more security, you should consider setting lights to go on and off at a certain time of the day, with a timer, to create the allusion that someone is home.
Don’t broadcast your holiday to the world
Everything is lived through social media nowadays. We know, we love to post a snap of the exotic countries we’re visiting, beaches we’re sunbathing on and swimming pools we’re lazing around, but it’s worth keeping those posts and pictures off the likes of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, until you’re back home. Even if your profile is set to private, you’d be surprised how easy it is for someone to still access certain details on the internet. It’s not worth the risk. Wait till your home to show off your latest snaps and make family and friends jealous!
Secure important documents
If the worst happens and your home is broken into, things can easily be lost, taken or destroyed.
On a quick side note, if you are considering writing a will or updating your will, we advise all individuals to do so sooner rather than later! We offer a range of first-class, experienced wills and probate services here.
Turn everything off
No one wants their house to burn down while they’re off enjoying a much-deserved holiday break. Unplug EVERYTHING at the socket, turn off the gas, ensure all lights are switched off and even double check the house just for your own sake of mind! If you’ve got young children, you could make a fun game and competition out of turning everything off the quickest.
Again, probably one of the most obvious things to consider, but you’d be surprised who forgets about it…leave a spare set of keys with a family member, friend or trusted neighbour.
Now that you’ve covered everything above, the most important thing is saved till the end…have fun and enjoy your summer holiday! Summer is the best time of the year.
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