Secure your home before a holiday

29th May 2015

Sun, sand and sea….it’s that time of year when many of us start to jet off to foreign climates on holiday. We spend time, months in some case, sourcing the perfect location and then the build-up really kicks in. Buying new holiday clothes for the family, the toiletries, pre-booking park tickets, booking airport parking….the list goes on. We all organise ourselves and our families to within an inch of life in order to ensure our holiday is the best it can possibly be however, not everyone gives consideration to the property left unattended whilst off having fun in the sun.

Unfortunately, it’s a sad reflection of the times we live in that the holiday period is the busiest time of year for burglars so before heading off on that long awaited and planned for trip, take some time to ensure your biggest asset is as prepared as possible for the break.

Having a house-sitter living in your home when you’re away is one of the best solutions, and often perfect if you have pets that need looked after in your absence. If you are unable to ask relatives or close friends, it is possible to employ a professional house sitter and if you have pets, this can work out more cost effective than placing them in kennels/pet hotels.

The next best option is to give your key to a neighbour or friend and ask them to keep an eye on your property. Offer to return the favour when it’s their turn to jet off somewhere! Ask them to clear post from view and pop in for a walk around every few days to ensure there have been no major incidents such as burst pipes etc. Also ask that they take out/in your bins to give the impression your house is still lived in. Even if you don’t wish to give a neighbour access to your property, it’s always a good idea to inform close neighbours of your plans and ask them to keep a general lookout in your absence.

Here’s a handy checklist you can run through before you leave to keep your property secure, not only from uninvited guests, but also from domestic incidents that can cause major disruption if unattended for even a few hours:

Unplug electrical items.

Check gutters and drains for blockages.

Stop any regular deliveries you have – milk, newspapers etc.

Lock windows and doors.

Remove any keys that can be seen from outside. Be careful to place then somewhere that is hidden from view from the outside of the house.

Lock the garage/shed.

Set timer switches on a few lights within your home.

DON’T advertise your trip on social media!!

Whilst it’s impossible to prevent your property from being targeted by thieves or incidents, these measures can help to make sure you don’t have a domestic disaster whilst you’re away. Remember also to make sure your home (and travel) insurance is up to date so that if the worst does happen, you know you are covered. All that’s left is for you to enjoy your trip!