Don’t let problems at home ruin your time away
It’s with much pleasure I introduce you today to guest blogger Nathan, a home security expert who has some great pointers for our readers on how to keep your home secure while you’re away on holidays – ideal timing for those of you who may be heading away for extended periods this summer – take it away Nathan!
This post is part of our family travel advice series
Okay, so everyone is excited about their next big adventure in the summer. Children wondering where their parents have planned for them to go while the parents work on the itinerary and budgeting of the trip.
However, most parents usually forget to look into a very important factor before going on vacation: the security of their home. Most don’t even think about it until the day they’re supposed to leave – using a typical lockup and burglar alarm approach before leaving. Much attention needs to be given to this, though. Here are some useful tips you can use before you decide to leave:
1) Hire A “House-Sitter”
This is probably one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your house. Ask someone to come live in your house for the duration you’re away, but make sure they are mature enough and trustable enough to not make things worse. Because the wrong keeper may wreak even more havoc than regular burglars. If you don’t have a loyal enough friend, there’s always the option of a trained watch dog.
2) Request For A Pause In The Mail Delivery
Before you leave, make sure you request your local post office to hold all your mail till you get back. Typically post offices can hold the mail for up to 30 days. With a piled up mailbox, you are just inviting in burglars by telling them that there is no caretaker and attendant for that home.
3) Stop Newspaper Delivery
As with a full mailbox, a pile of yellowing newspapers near the front door is another cliché for an unoccupied home. This is one of the easiest details to forget when it comes to securing your home. And one of the most attractive signs of an empty home.
4) Have Someone Check In On Your Home
Even if you do stop all the newspaper and mail delivery, you can’t keep those marketing officers from leaving leaflets and pamphlets on your doorknob. Ask a neighbor to get rid of any such evidence of an empty home while you are away. A regular check on the premises every other day will definitely be a big help for your security and if a burglar is watching your activity, he will be wary of the visitor and might avoid doing anything risky.
5) Make Your Home Look Like Its Being Lived In
You can invest in some sensors or timers for your light which automatically switch on and off according to the light outside or the time. Also, you can leave some blinds open to give a more “normal” look to your home.
6) Hire Someone To Mow Your Lawn
Not only will it give your home an added presence, uncut and neglected lawns are just another invitation for burglars, announcing that the home is empty.
7) Keep Your Plans Off Social Media
Think twice next time you want to share your holiday plans on Facebook and Twitter. This information could be used my potential thieves to find out when you are not home. If your home is not attended while you are away, save the photos and updates for when you get back home.
8) Pay Your Bills Early
The last thing you want is for your electricity to be turned off, and your security system no longer functioning. To avoid this, pay your bills ahead of schedule before you go on holidays.
9) Beware The Answer Machine
A common mistake people make is leaving a message on their answering machine letting people know that they are away on holidays. This is a clear indication to a potential thief that no-one will be home for a while. If you do leave a message for callers, make sure you keep it generic and don’t mention you are on holidays. If possible, have any calls diverted to your mobile phone.
10) Lock Up
The main reasons people get broken into is they forget to lock a door or window to their home. A couple of days before you are due to go on holidays, do a quick check of the security of your home.
Check that the locks are all working correctly, and replace any faulty locks. Make sure your alarm battery is charging and that all security sensors are working. Once you have packed everything ready to go on holidays, quickly check all the security of your home. Make sure you close and lock all main entrance doors, windows, sheds, gates, and garage. If you have any children’s toys, gardening tools or ladders outside, make sure they have been stored away securely.
Make sure you follow all these minor, yet important, tips for your house safety and to enjoy a carefree vacation with your family.
Thanks for these really timely tips Nathan – we might be a little guilty as charged on the social media bit (but rest assured would-be-burglars we have a full-time house sitter in all our absences!!)
Don’t forget to check out our 30 Steps to Prepare for a Family Vacation – and you can download our all-inclusive Family Travel Checklist by signing up to be a part of the Globetrotter Community here:
Nathan Hughes is a founder of Locksmiths In Sydney. When he is not cutting new keys or letting you back into your house at 4 am in the morning, he is dressed up as Iron Man running around at home with his family.
Images © Shutterstock
8 thoughts on “10 Tips for Securing Your Home While You’re Away”
And the most important suggestion for me is – “Rasel, don’t forget to take the keys into your bag before you lock the door. Because you already did the same thing two times more..”
Lovely idea sharing this article blog. It is really essential and helpful. I want to follow your tips and ideas.
We are lucky enough to have good friends whom we trust to give our alarm security codes to and who live close by, but yes…I agree…keeping off social media is the hardest! 🙂
Its great if you have neighbours and friends who you can trust – but social media YES! Often so overlooked as it relates to your “real life”
Good list! We have light timers for when we’re away and they work a treat. As for the mail, we have door mail slots in London so nobody can see from outside if your mail is piling up, but we still have someone pick it up regularly. We stop our milk delivery when we’re away (and also, when we have too much milk in the fridge!) but the rest goes on as usual and our utilities are paid by direct debit. What do you suggest for trash pick-up?
Other than seeing if the the neighbours can put your bin in/out on that first week you’re away that’s a difficult one without making it obvious you have an uncollected bin – or be cheeky and put your last few bags into your neighbours bin before you leave!
I agree with every one! And #7 is by far the most difficult!!