It’s that time of year again, time to load the car full of suitcases (containing everything bar the kitchen sink) and head off on our annual summer holidays! But in the excitement of the pre-holiday chaos, the safety of our homes can often be neglected. There is nothing worst than the nightmare of coming home to find you have been a victim of crime.
Here are Blount and Maslin’s top tips for protecting your home before you go away!
Don’t leave the house looking unoccupied
- Mow the lawn, not only will this save you a job when you get back from your holiday but it will also make it look as though your property occupied
- Bring in the washing from the line
- Leave curtains and blinds open. There is nothing that says ‘we are away’ like a house where all the curtains and blinds are left drawn.
- Cancel milk, newspapers and any regular deliveries and ask a neighbour to remove any post that is piling up by the doormat.
- Ask a neighbour to water your flower pots, not only will your plants look hydrated it will help it to appear as if the house is occupied
- Install a light on a timer switch that comes on in the evening. You can also get photosensitive bulbs that switch on when a certain level of darkness is reached. If you are using a light on a timer, don’t use it with a table lamp that can be viewed through a window – a dead giveaway.
Turn off everything at the socket:
- Reduce your risk of fires, and save on your utility bills by turning all your appliances off (except your trusty fridge/ freezer!)
- Also take the time to check your central heating settings to avoid heating an empty house!
- Double check that you have not left on fires or free-standing heaters. Also check that you haven’t left your oven on! There is nothing worse than spending your whole holiday wondering if you have left something switched on by mistake.
Make sure you do a quick sweep of the whole house to ensure all windows are closed and locked properly, this includes your garage and shed! If the worst does happen and you leave a window or door open and were burgled, you may have trouble claiming from your home insurance provider. Place all keys out of sight. We recommend leaving a set of keys with a trusted friend or neighbour ‘just in case’ access to the property is needed.
Don’t tell everyone you are going away!
Although it is common place to post all your holiday snaps on social media, we recommend being cautious as this basically informs everybody that your house is sitting empty. Remember that depending on your privacy settings anyone can see your posts, including those who may take advantage of your absence.