tips to help make your home safer while you are away

6 Tips for keeping your home be safe while you’re on holiday

One of the major worries with going away is “will my home be safe?”.

Break-ins aren’t the only worry. I’m sure that you know at least one person who has come home to a burst water pipe. So here are some tips to help you to minimise your concerns.

 

1. Tell your neighbours

There can be more to do that letting them know you’re away. Do you have on-street parking?  If you are leaving your car behind give a car keys to someone in case the car needs moving.

Of course, also give them a house key and your alarm code, so that they can move mail, or keep an eye out. Also give them your contact details while you are away. But if they are a good neighbour they wouldn’t call you if it wasn’t a big problem. Don’t forget to tell this person if you have family popping round to check your home as well.

Ask your key holder to open and close curtains and to switch lights on and off. In the winter they can check for frozen water pipes.

Don’t forget to reward your key holders with a nice gift when you get home.

 

2. Hide everything

Don’t hide things because you don’t trust your key holder. Keeping valuables out of sight will remove any temptation for a passing chancer. Also invest in a quality safe. If it is an electronic safe do ensure that you wipe any installation key code.

 

3. Tell the police

I have tried this in the past as I have a house alarm, but my local force didn’t seem that bothered. But let your local station know about the alarm and the key holder while you are away.

Also, inform the local neighbourhood watch. They will add to the army that are looking after your home.

4. Stop deliveries

This can be more trouble than it is worth, but you can put a stop order on delivery at your sorting office. It isn’t something that you can do last minute over the phone, but if you get a lot of post you might consider trying it.  With all the different delivery methods used nowadays stopping everything may get complicated.

Your key holder should remove any post left on your doorstep.

 

5. Unplug everything

Of course don’t unplug your DVR, fridge or freezer, but some appliances still consume a lot of power when left on standby.

Don’t forget that you’re already harming the environment by flying to the other side of the world. So try to minimise your impact by saving power while away.

Any appliance left connected to the mains could be a fire hazard.

 

6. Don’t tell the world that you’re away

I know, not posting pictures of your holiday on Facebook is difficult. If you must post check they security settings so only those you trust can see your pictures and words. Speak to an IT expert to check the settings if you need to.

Posting about your holiday while away may mean that your insurance company may not pay out if you need to claim.

If it is well known that you work from home be careful with your out of office message too. Do you need to set it, or can you get away with checking your emails while away? If so let those you trust know that you are out of town and ignore the others if you can.

If you use an answering service or machine make sure that your holiday isn’t mentioned by either of them. Callers don’t need to know where you are and for how long.

Of course after arranging all this you may still worry. But at least you’ll know that you have done your best to minimise any problems while you’re away.