Before rushing off on holiday this festive season, ensure you’ve taken all the necessary steps to keep your home safe from intruders.
Tell your neighbours
If you haven’t organised a house-sitter, let your neighbours know you’re going away so they can keep an eye on your property. It’s a good idea to leave a spare key with them in case access to your property is required. Don’t forget to leave contact details for where you’ll be staying in case you’re not reachable via cellphone.
Alert your alarm company and switch on your alarm
Don’t just set your alarm, let your alarm company know you’ll be away. If your friends or neighbours are keeping an eye on your property, give their contact details to the company so they can be reached in case of an emergency. Don’t forget to let them know when you get back!
Ensure everything is closed and locked
Close and secure all windows, doors and pet flaps to prevent intruders from gaining easy access to your home. If your doors and windows have alarm sensors, double check they are working properly.
Be wary about advertising your departure on social networking sites
While you might be tempted to tell everyone about your upcoming trip via social media and update your status with check-ins at all your great holiday destinations, waiting until you get back home safely ensures that potential thieves trawling social media aren’t wise to your absence.
Create an illusion of someone being home
A home that looks like it’s being ‘lived in’ is less likely to attract potential intruders. Consider putting your lights or TV on a timer that switches on in the evenings. If possible, temporarily stop your mail and newspaper services so they don’t pile up outside your gate, otherwise ask a neighbour or friend to collect your mail.
Unplug all unnecessary appliances.
Unplug devices such as Televisions & Hi-Fi sets which still draw power when on stand-by mode. If you’re going away for more than a few days, empty out and turn off your fridge. Finally, don’t forget to turn off your geyser!
Get a friend to house-sit
Better than having your house look like it’s being ‘lived in’, is having someone actually live there while you’re gone. Ideally, your house-sitter will sleep in your home, but even spending a few hours in the evening can work. If your house-sitter will be sleeping there, leaving them with a stocked fridge is a nice touch, even if you are paying them.
Lock away valuables
Although you probably don’t have your valuables lying around in plain view, it is a good idea to lock them away safely before your holiday. Consider storing irreplaceable items, such as ones with sentimental value, in a safe deposit box or at a family members home. If you do so, make sure your insurance covers the new storage location.