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If there’s one thing everybody can agree upon, it’s that holidays are great! The anxious lead-up to a holiday, however, can be incredibly stressful and cause you to lose sight of the time off ahead.
Between the copious amounts of packing and the tedious (but necessary) arrangements of passports, travel insurance and buying currency, the mind is practically working overtime before you can have peace of mind overseas.
It’s easy to let things slide when you’re prepping to go on vacation, but one thing that shouldn’t be taken lightly is just how safe the home you’re leaving behind is.
So, to take the pressure off your shoulders during a very busy time, here are some tips on how you can keep your home safe while on holiday.
While sharing your holiday plans with people close to you is exciting, said plans shouldn’t necessarily be shouted from the rooftops.
Onlookers and eavesdroppers alike could be tuning into your conversation to discover your home with all your valuables inside will be vacant for an extended period of time, opening the door (both figuratively and literally) for burglars to make their move and break in.
This also translates to posting on social media, so being cautious and only posting vacation selfies to private groups or waiting until you’re back home is recommended.
Lean On Others
The easiest way to prevent your home from appearing vacant and vulnerable is by making it not vacant…obviously!
Consider asking a trusted friend or family member if they’re able to look after the place while you’re away, ensuring the house sitter you’ve chosen is able to keep the house safe and in good knick for when you return.
Alternatively, if friends and family are unable to look after the home, it’s a good idea to look for a trusted neighbour who can drop in on occasion to make sure the home looks lived in.
This can be as simple as asking the neighbour to remove the mail from the mailbox and watering plants. If cars are not present at the home, ask the neighbour to park theirs in your driveway to keep up the facade that someone is home.
Keep The Curtains Open?
Speaking of keeping up the facade that someone is home, there are plenty of ways to maintain this illusion that doesn’t need an extra hand to lend their services.
For instance, many homeowners will close their curtains while away so onlookers can’t see in, but leaving them open may be a smarter plan. Curtains that are closed during the day are a pretty clear sign that nobody is home and even allow for some privacy if burglars do make it inside the house.
If you decide to leave the curtains open, be sure to move any expensive valuables out of plain sight. In worst-case scenarios where a burglar breaks into the home, it’s worth distributing said valuables around the house rather than keeping everything in one spot.
Smarten Up The House
Smart homes are useful in instances such as these, as all sorts of items in the home can be set to a timer.
Timers can help keep the illusion that someone is still in the house, as current-day gadgets allow home automation to turn on lights for certain hours of the day, but be mindful of the electric bill while you’re at it!
The inverse can provide the same, as smart devices can be used to turn off any alarm clocks or telephone ringers that may make noise during the day, which suspiciously won’t be turned off since no one is home.
Increase The Home Security
Ultimately, the best way to ensure home safety is to improve your home security system.
Investing in smart locks and deadbolts for your front door, back door and even your garage door could mean the difference between relaxing the moment you get home or spending your time ordering a new television from Amazon.
Consider installing an alarm system if one is not installed already. Current models of alarm systems can also come with motion sensors and security cameras which can deter even the most careful of thieves.
Plenty can be done before leaving home to protect the house and the valuables inside.
Things that need to be done before you lock up and leave consist of:
- Alert the post office to cancel newspaper delivery for the time you’re away
- Be sure to leave a spare key for emergencies when a friend or family member needs to enter the house
- Lock any window and door before leaving the house and switch your alarm on
- Switch any devices off at the wall (standby power consumption sucks, which you can read more about here)
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