You’ve packed well, have your holiday activities planned, and are ready to rest and relax, but did you remember home security before you walk out the door to catch your flight?
Neglecting to take precautions that will prevent thefts, crimes, or accidents from occurring while you’re away can cause major trouble after you return from your getaway. To avoid dealing with problems and headaches, do these things to secure your home while you’re on holidays.
- Contact your home security provider
Simply arming your home security system while you’re away is a good move, but it’s more beneficial to contact the actual company that provides monitoring services for your home to tell them that you’ll be away. They can mark your account and be able to catch suspicious activity, much of which they wouldn’t pay close attention to if they didn’t know you weren’t home.
If you don’t have monitoring service to accompany your security system, consider subscribing at least while you’re on holiday. If you don’t currently have a home security system installed at all, at the very least put DIY alarms from the hardware store on your home’s entrances, doors, and windows.
- Halt the post
An overflowing mailbox says one thing to a criminal: no one is home and the place is a good target for a robbery.
Place a notice with the post office to stop your mail delivery during your holiday to prevent becoming a target for would-be home invaders.
If you have newspaper or magazine subscriptions that arrive weekly, contact the publishers to put a hold on your deliveries until you return home.
- Set an appliance or light timer
The key to warding off home invaders is making it look like someone is at your house while you’re away on holiday. It’s not reasonable to expect friends and neighbors to constantly stop by, so one solution is to hook up a simple timer that will turn your lights on and off at specific times.
It’s best to vary when the timer goes on and off to mimic real life. For instance, if someone paying attention to your house sees that the lights come on at 5:00 pm and go off at 11:00 pm each night, it will look strange and be a clue that you’re not really there. Stagger the times to pull off the rouse.
You can find timers at most home improvement and hardware stores. Some models are equipped to be managed via an app on your smartphone so you can control everything even while you’re away.
- Leave your curtains alone
You probably don’t notice it, but how you keep your curtains during the day and night are signals that you’re home. Seeing drawn curtains for several days in a row with no activity around the house can tip off criminals that you’re away.
To prevent this, leave your curtains the way they’d normally be while you’re at home and move any valuables out of view from the windows.
- Don’t forget your spare key
Keeping a spare key hidden around your property’s exterior can spell disaster if you leave the key out while you’re on holiday. Remember to remove your spare key from under the doormat, behind the garden rock, or wherever you choose to have it and secure it inside your home.
Alternatively, give the key to a trusted friend or family member who is willing to periodically check on your house while you’re away.
- Double check to be sure no appliances are left on
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s very common for families to embark on a holiday, come back home, and discover that they left an iron or other gadget plugged in. Some people have even returned to electric kettles that have boiled dry and burst after being left on for days.
To make sure you don’t create any fire or electrical hazards while you’re away, walk through your house at least once and make sure everything is turned off.
You can even unplug items such as your televisions, computer, and toaster oven as such appliances use up energy and raise your utility costs by simply being plugged in.
- Don’t overshare online
Updating your friends on social media about your holiday can be a nice way to share your life, and it’s understandable that you want them to get the details and show holiday pictures.
Still, hold off on announcing that you’re leaving or disclosing that you’re away from home and instead post photos and information about your trip once you’re back.
Privacy settings aren’t foolproof on any website, and information about your departure from home would serve a criminal well. It will be much easier to burglarize your home if they know when you’ll be gone.
Keep these tips in mind before heading off on your next holiday, and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip while knowing that your home is well protected.
About The Author
Nathan Hughes is a founder of Locksmiths In Sydney. When he is not letting you back into your house at 4 am in the morning, he is dressed up as Iron Man running around at home with his family.