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The 5 Point Checklist to Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re on Holiday

You’re about to take a well-deserved vacation. Perhaps it’s overseas, or just to another city in the country. The last thing that you want to do while on holiday is worry about whether your home will be waiting for you when you return.

It’s an unfortunate reality that properly securing your home while you’re away is vitally important. There are people that are on the lookout for a ‘target’, and a poorly secured home with its occupants clearly on vacation is, sadly, as easy as ‘targets’ come. Thankfully, there are quite a few things that you can do to help dissuade potential invaders, and protect your valuables while you’re away.

Set up a home security system

The most obvious thing that you can do to protect your home while you’re away is to set up a home security system, including cameras and an Internet link so that you can check in while you’re away. Set up cameras to monitor each room in the home that has an exit to outdoors. If you can get cameras that pan and tilt so that you can look around the room, this is highly beneficial.

Consider getting a camera or two for outdoors as well, particularly for the areas that are more secluded, and therefore might look like a good entry point for an invader. It’s even worth getting one or two fake security cameras. These are cheaper than proper security cameras, and it’s worth investing in the better fake camera models; the ones with lights and automatic panning actions. Don’t rely on these exclusively, but mixed in with real cameras, they can be a useful deterrent in suggesting a comprehensively secured home.

Create the impression that you’re at home

Assuming that you can’t afford an actual housesitter (or don’t want someone to live in your home while you’re away), then at least consider creating the impression that you’re at home. There are special power plugs that you can buy and plug external lights into. These plugs have remote controls (allowing you to switch the lights on and off using a mobile phone application), and can also be set up with timers, so that the lights switch on and off at the normal time you’d expect them to.

To really create the impression that people are at home, do the same for the TV or set up a radio with a switch, so that it will come on and off at various points through the day and night. That way there will be sound coming out of your home as well.

It’s important that you’re able to control the timers remotely (so ensure that you buy good switches with good apps for your phone), because the really professional burglars will monitor a home over a period of days, and if they notice a specific pattern for these things coming on and off, they’ll know it’s artificial.

Make sure the mail is held at the post office, and hire someone to mow the lawns

Two signs that a home is easy pickings for burglars is an overgrown garden and a letter box filled with a week’s worth of letters. Make sure the post office isn’t dropping letters in your box while you’re away, and hire someone to mow the lawn a couple of times a week (depending on the season). Get the handyman to clean the letter box of junk mail while they’re there, too.

Same goes for any newspaper deliveries that you might get. Put a hold on them, as it’s just too obvious that you’re not at home if they’re left to pile up.

Purchase a safe for the really important things

Passports, ownership documents, identification cards, and any valuables that you might leave at home need to be properly secured. You can replace a TV; allowing a burglar to also steal your identity is a headache that can go on for years. Don’t go with a cheap safe, as the nature of safes also make them the first thing a burglar will try to break into if they get into your home. Get a really good one, and set up sensors around it, so that you (or your security company) will know instantly if someone has come too close.

Get friendly with a neighbour

If there is a neighbour or someone else nearby that you can trust, let them know that you’re going away, as well as the exact dates that you’ll be away. Also remember to tell them about the automatic switches for the lights, radio and television that you’ve set up. That way, if they happen to notice unplanned activity in your home, they’ll know immediately that something is wrong. However, obviously, if you don’t trust your neighbour, don’t tell them anything!

Small steps for a worry-free holiday

Finally, make sure the actual entrances to your home are secure. So many break-ins happen simply because the burglar realises that it’s easy to get in. These don’t need to be expensive; for example, Xceed Perforated Aluminium Security Screens are a mid-range security option that offer more than enough deterrent to burglars, and they come with a seven year warranty. Contact us today for a quote.