Better safe than sorry – how to keep your home safe when awayPosted by: Miro | Post date: 07.10.21
Nothing can take away from the holiday charm more than the constant worry about your home being safe or even worse, coming home realising somebody has gotten into your house, and not for the right reasons.
Those years of building a peaceful and safe place called home will be instantly overshadowed by the piles of claims, paperwork, and general upset that your private space has been invaded.
However, does that mean you cannot leave your house without being constantly worried? Absolutely not. But, being smart about how to leave your house empty for an extended period of time, is a first step to making your holiday worry-free and your house secure.
Be aware of giveaway signs
Nothing screams ‘I’m an empty house’ more than the pile of unopened envelopes pilling on your front porch. There are a number of ways to solve receiving the letters and leaflets that don’t include building a letter tower in front of the main entrance. Giving your relative or friend a key to come and collect the post could be the easiest way to go about it but if that is not an option, you can use a variety of services available nowadays. Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will keep your mail for up to two months in case you are away. This will not only keep your porch letter-free but will also keep mail that might contain important information safe. In addition, don’t forget to pause or cancel subscriptions such as food or gifting boxes making it less apparent you are away (while saving a bit of money on the side!)
The holiday mantra: Unplugged
We are all familiar with the scenario of leaving the house coming back a couple of times to check if we really unplugged the iron.
As we mentally unplug for the holiday let’s make it a theme throughout the house as well. When leaving a house for more than a couple of days, it is better to make sure all your appliances are not plugged into sockets – this will significantly reduce the risk of fires. It will keep your bills low and keep you at ease, knowing there is no chance the lamp stayed switched on for the whole time and potentially causing danger.
Create the impression you’re still home
One of the less savoury traits of burglars is that they can be very observant, and they certainly notice if there hasn’t been any movement in the house for more than a couple of days.
Thanks to current technology on the market, this can be easily resolved by staging your presence at home at the touch of the button… literally. The smart lightbulbs and switches are a great way to create an illusion of the presence in the house and keeping nosy intruders away. If you want to take it up a notch, combined with motion security cameras, you can make sure your house is becoming a fortress that doesn’t come across as an easy target.
Be aware of social media broadcasting
Yes, it is tempting to share with your close (or even not so close) circle that you are jetting off to this tropical destination you’ve been dreaming about for so long. But we have heard, and more than once, about cases where people have been targeted and while they have been enjoying their sunny getaway, their house has been ‘’safely’’ robbed.
When leaving the house unattended, try to avoid posting such information on social media, especially when your accounts are open to the public. Often people can be observant more than you realize and although you might not have shared where exactly you live, from your previously posted pictures, it’s a possibility someone could guess the area and from there work out the exact location.
Don’t underestimate locks
Sounds like an obvious one, but let’s put your hand on heart, when was the last time you have properly checked your locks, and whether it is truly resistant to potential interventions? The same goes for windows and back entrances. In the case of burglary, slightly looser locks can create a whole lot of problems when trying to claim home insurance because of failing to take reasonable care of your property.
Another habit that many have gotten used to, is keeping a spare key under the doormats or plant pots. When leaving the house for a long time, make sure such keys are completely out of sight and reach. If you are worried you might lose your own key during your holiday, the better way to secure your spare key is to keep it with a friend or trusted neighbour.
We all hope these scenarios don’t happen, but a little forward thinking can ensure you will have a restful holiday, not worrying about your home from a distance.
If you are looking to buy or rent your new home, please contact the team at Lawton and Dawe today!