Going away for your summer holiday is an exciting time of year – unless you’re spending your entire time away worrying about your home.
Follow these tips for total peace of mind that your home will be safe and secure while you’re sunning yourself on a beach!
Let someone know you're going away...
Tell your neighbour or a trusted friend that you’re going away. Let them know when you’re leaving and returning, and ask if they would mind keeping an eye on your house.
You can go one step further and give them a key, so that they can make sure your letterbox isn’t overflowing. They can also make it seem as if people are still coming and going at your property. You could even let a friend or neighbour park on your drive to make it seem as if someone is home.
...But don't broadcast it to the whole world
Tempting though it is to make everyone back home jealous of your sunny trip, try not to post any photos on social media while you’re on holiday. Waiting until you get home makes sure you’re not broadcasting to the wrong people that your house is unoccupied.
If you absolutely must post on social media, make sure your location tags are turned off and your profile privacy is set to high. This will reduce the risk of people realising you’re away.
Stop any food subscriptions or deliveries
Make sure you pause your newspaper, magazine or food box subscriptions while you’re away. A full letterbox or delivery boxes piling up in your back porch are tell-tale signs that the house is unoccupied.
If you’re heading away for a longer period of time, consider using the Royal Mail Keepsafe service. They’ll hold your mail for a specified time period so that it doesn’t build up on your doormat while you’re skiing the slopes or enjoying your transatlantic cruise.
Ask a neighbour to take your bins out
A full bin or bins that aren’t put out (or brought in) for a collection tell anyone paying attention to your house that you aren’t home.
Second, it means you won’t miss a collection so that your bins will be empty when you return. You won’t have to deal with overflowing and smelly bins for the fortnight after you return!
Put timers on a lamp or two
Invest in a couple of timer switches. Plug them into a lamp or radio and set them to switch on for a few hours at a time you’d normally have them on.
This helps your property look like it’s still occupied and acts as a deterrent to anyone attempting an opportunistic burglary.
Book a gardener to mow the grass
Uncut grass or brown-and-dying plants are subtle but key signs to anyone studying your home that there’s nobody in.
If you’re going away for a fortnight or longer, book a gardener to mow the lawn and water the plants.
Turn everything off at the plug
There’s nothing more tell-tale that someone is away than an alarm clock that goes off every morning for ages until it automatically shuts off.
Leaving everything switched on at the plug is also a way to rack up your energy bill and contribute to possible fire hazards. So, switch everything off at the plug, except your fridge and freezer of course!
Make sure your home insurance is up-to-date
Check your home insurance policy before you go away and set up a renewal if necessary. Even when you’ve taken all the reasonable security steps above to protect your property, something could happen while you’re away.
Many insurance policies require the property to be attended at least once a week for the cover to remain valid. Take a look at the wording of your policy. You may need to arrange someone to visit the property every few days to retain the cover of your policy.
Enjoy your holiday
With these security measures in place, and a rock-solid home insurance policy covering your home, it’s time to sit back and enjoy your holiday!