How to Keep your Home Secure Whilst on Holiday
We all love a holiday, but we certainly do not love thinking that our house is not secure whilst we are away. To enjoy a holiday with peace of mind, you want the knowledge that your home is safe from theft and vandalism as much as possible.
It may be an obvious statement, but most burglaries take place when there is no one at home. Therefore, it is of great importance to secure your home effectively when you are away on vacation.
The highest rate of break-ins occurs during the festive period, causing holiday heartbreak. So, if you are planning on going away over the festive months – make sure you keep any gifts out of sight whilst you are away. For an opportunist thief, an empty property with plenty of gifts visible is an open invite for them to break and enter. Do not make it is easy for thieves. There are steps which you can take in order to reduce the risk of burglaries taking place at your home when you are away enjoying your holidays.
Lock all the Doors and Windows
Just like when you leave the house on a normal day, make sure all the windows and doors are securely locked. Ensure that the doors and windows are also fitted with insurance approved locks and all windows must have key-operated locks. Always remove the keys from the locks in the windows and hide them so they are completely out of view, preferably in a draw or a box which itself is out of sight.
If you feel as though you need a higher level of deterrent, you can get window grilles over the windows. These will act as a visual deterrent to reduce the likelihood of your house being targeted in the first place as well as a physical barrier should anyone try and enter.
Contact a locksmith to help you pick which locks will work best for your property. Seek out a locksmith which is a member of their trade association: The Master Locksmith Association.
Do Not Let Everyone Know you are Going Away
Whilst you may be very excited to be going on your holidays, you might want to keep it quiet when out in public or on social media. Spilling the details of your 3-week holiday to Mexico to the world or the local area is not the best of ideas as you never knowing who is listening or reading about it and getting an idea that could result in heartbreak for you. Try to restrict the details of your get away to your trusted friends and family.
Relocate or Conceal your Valuables
It for the best that you do not leave valuables where they can be seen through a window – it will become an advert for opportunist thieves.
If there is something in your home which is completely irreplaceable, you may wish to ask a very trusted friend or family member to look after it during the time that you are away.
For larger items which hold value, such as paintings or vases, you should aim to hide these from obvious view and maybe even put them into the loft. Things like car keys, jewellery and items which hold sentimental value should be placed in a safe or again, leave them with a trusted friend. If you do not have a safe, consider installing one, it could be your life saver.
Leave your Curtains and Blinds Open
If you shut your curtains and blinds, they will shut all day and all night for the time that you are away. This is a dead give-away that the property is unoccupied and an invite for opportunist burglars.
We recommend leaving your curtains and blinds open, but of course moving all valuables out of plain sight.
Put the Lights on a Timer
In the same way that having curtains and blinds which are constantly shut, a house which is not lit at all during the day or the evenings can be a giveaway of your absence. If you have lights going on and off, people will think you are in the house and this will reduce the likelihood that your house will become a target.
You can also install photosensitive bulbs which cleverly switch on which it gets dark externally. You can also get timer plugs that will simply turn side lights on when you set them too.
If you have the Hive app or an Alex app and you have compatible lightbulbs, you can turn your lights on and off sporadically throughout the day whenever you please.
Keep the Garden Well Kept
Before you go off on your adventure, make sure you tidy up the garden so that when you are away it does not become a jungle. Again, an unkempt garden may be a sign that you are not in your home for a certain amount of time.
Be sure to lock away any garden or DIY tools that may be targets for theft or even used as a means to break into your property by a thief.
Most houses have an alarm security system and if you do not, you must get one installed. If you do have a system in place, before you go away be sure to check that these works efficiently. If you have given a trusted friend or family member access to your house whilst you are away, do not forget to give them the code to stop the burglar alarm.
The power that an alarm has is far more than just simply alerting you when your home has been broken into, but can also seriously deter people from breaking into and entering your home in the first place. If you can get signs to put on your door stating that you have security systems in place so that thieves give up at the first hurdle rather than giving the break in a whirl. The sound of the alarm may cause them to run away from the scene and leave your valuables and property untouched.
Make The Place Look Busy
It sounds strange, but potential burglars might be checking out the place if you are away, to really see if you are away. But you can throw them off a bit by making the place look busier. This means having a close neighbour or friend turning on the lights and then turning the same ones off the next day and so on – it makes it look like real activity is going on.
One of the simplest giveaways is if it has snowed recently and you have untouched snow in the driveway – it suggests that people have not been there for days. If your neighbour is shovelling their own driveway, maybe ask them to give yours a scoop too.
Other things you can do include getting the neighbour to push the mail right through the door. After all, if it hasn’t moved in a few days, again, it looks like you’re away. So in conclusion, get on your neighbour’s good side and ask for their help.
At Bridging Loan Hub, we are passionate about giving our readers and potential customers useful tips in order to make their most of their bridging loan applications and properties. You can read more in our FAQs page.