Securing your home when you head off to travel is important, not only to keep your home safe, but also for peace of mind while travelling. Here are 10 tips for securing your home before heading on your holiday.
Firstly, ensure your gates are locked. This makes it more difficult for a burglar to get access to the side or back of your home and if they do, it’s also more difficult to get back out.
Also, make sure all windows and doors are locked. It may also be worthwhile considering if you should install more robust locks on your windows and doors. Some locks can be flimsy and can easily be broken.
Cancel or put on hold, any deliveries you receive, including delivery of the newspaper or groceries. You don’t want newspapers stacking up daily outside your home.
Either have a neighbour, friend or family member collect your mail on a regular basis or have the post office hold your mail for you until your return. You don’t want mail sitting in your letterbox. It is both a sign to burglars that you aren’t home but it also puts you at risk of identity theft if a burglar can steal personal documents.
Check that your home and contents is up to date before leaving on your holiday. Also keep an electronic copy of your policy with you on your phone or other device. That way if the worst happens and there is a break in or damage while you are away, you have your insurance details so that you can contact your insurer.
If your going to be away for more than a couple of weeks, especially in summer when the lawn grows faster, it it worthwhile organising someone (a friend, neighbour, family member or your regular gardener) to mow your lawn. This way your yard looks tidy and gives the indication you are home.
Make sure you don’t leave items outside such as kids toys, ladders, gardening tools or other items that can easily be stolen or help a burglar break in.
A bolted down safe is a good investment (a small safe is not expensive). This way you can secure valuables (eg. jewellery, documents) that you don’t take with you. If you don’t have a safe, hide items in hard to find places.
If you have a security system, consider having it monitored (if it isn’t already). You can advise the security company when you will be away. This way if the alarm does go off, the security company can check your property for you. You can also give them a contact person/s who can be contacted if needed. You can give this person a key so they can check on your property for you.
I will say it upfront. I am against leaving your pets outside while you’re away and have someone come over to feed them. Your pet should not be considered as a tool to use in securing your home. A barking dog is an indicator to a burglar that you’re away. If a burglar wants to break into your home, there is a possibility they will bait your dog (which means your dog is likely to die) and then break into your home. Don’t risk your dog’s life because you think it will be a deterrent to a burglar. Check out my blog Who Looks After Your Pets While Your Away.
If your telephone rings continuously it may be a sign to a burglar that you are not home. Either set your answering machine to take a message or if it’s not cost prohibitive, have calls redirected to your mobile / cell phone.