Holidays are a time for relaxation, so the last thing you want to be doing is fretting about the security of your home while you’re away. Wasim Bux, Product Manager at home insurance provider iGO4, shares his top five tips for protecting your home while you’re away on your jollies…
In association with iG04
With a 9% increase in burglary over 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics, it’s unsurprising that many of us feel on edge when leaving our houses unattended for a couple of days or longer. But there are many simple measures you can put in place to secure your property while you’re away, allowing you to enjoy a stress-free holiday. Read on to find out what steps you should be taking before you jet off…
Have somebody on house-watch
This can be anybody you trust, whether a family member, neighbour or friend, who’ll be able to pop into your home every couple of days and make it look ‘lived in’. Whether that’s simply by parking their car on the drive, opening and drawing the curtains, or shovelling snow in the winter months, it’ll ensure that nothing looks out of the ordinary to any potential thieves.
Install timers on your electronics
Setting timers to control your lights, by turning them on and off at suitable hours, will also help to give the impression that someone’s in. This is good practice while you’re away and will be helpful if your designated house-sitter can’t make it one day, or there’s nobody around to look after your house. Think Kevin McAllister in Home Alone!
We all love taunting our colleagues and friends with the thought of us on a sunny beach while they’re stuck in the office, but be aware of your surroundings when you tell people your plans — oversharing can be a precursor to theft. Whether you mention it a bit too loud in public places, or you share your holiday dates and plans on social media, this can give thieves a heads-up to target your house. Even if you think all of your social media profiles are private, new security updates can be hard to follow and some things we post may be unknowingly shared to the public. Keep it quiet and save your photos and status updates till you’re back!
Put a hold on your mail
There’s no bigger giveaway that no one’s in than an overflowing postbox. If you can’t secure a house-sitter, take a trip to your local post office at least a week before you leave and ask them to hold your mail for you. Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service costs from £14 per 10 days — a small price to pay for something that can have such a large impact on your home’s security. This will be a particularly useful service if you’re expecting important parcels while you’re away, with nobody to sign for them.
Store all your valuables and keys out of sight
It might sound obvious but keeping everybody’s jewellery and valuable items hidden away rather than strewn over the dresser or in plain sight through a window will make it less appealing for a thief to smash the window. The same goes for keys: keeping them anywhere which wouldn’t take much looking for is basically an invitation for theft. If you usually leave a spare key outside, make sure you remove it prior to leaving — keeping it under the plant pot is the oldest trick in the book, so don’t get caught out!
It’s natural to worry about leaving your house unattended, but these feelings shouldn’t disrupt your trip. Follow these top tips for securing your house while you’re away to put your mind at ease, so you can sit back, relax and focus on building an enviable holiday album instead.