Heading off on a holiday is meant to be fun and exciting. But if you’re constantly stressing about the safety of your home while you’re away, you’re not going to be enjoying your trip.
It’s perfectly understandable to be concerned about your home while you’re gone, but you shouldn’t let that consume your thoughts and ruin your break.
While there’s no perfect failsafe solution, there are some steps you can take to help keep your home safe when you’re on holiday, and these solutions should also help bring you some peace of mind.
Ensure that Big Brother is always watching
We suggest the addition of both home security cameras, and a video doorbell. You can also invest in a professionally monitored security system if you have the budget and feel the need.
Remember that it’s important to position home security cameras correctly, and that video doorbells will always be better deterrents to would-be criminals if you’re able to actually respond when they ring.
Have motion sensor lights in outdoor areas
While we’re on the topic of home additions, if you haven’t got any already, now is a great time to install solar-powered motion sensor security lights in your outdoor areas. Not only will they make your home safer for you upon your return (as you’ll be able to see clearly no matter what time you get home) but they’ll also act as a strong deterrent for those with nefarious intent.
This works particularly well when your new sensor lights are paired with a home security camera, as no thief wants a nice clear photo taken of themselves while they’re trying to sneak into your home. Bonus points if they’re right next to each other, as this way, even if the thief does continue their assault on your home, you should have a clear picture to give to police, as people naturally look towards things that surprise them.
Take the spare key with you
Getting locked out of your home can be an incredibly stressful experience, so we understand why many households keep a spare key floating around outside as backup.
The thing is, while you’re away, there’s precisely zero chance of you locking yourself out. Having that spare key running loose on the property, however, greatly increases the risk of criminals getting into your home.
When heading off on your holiday, we suggest either taking your spare key with you or leaving it with someone that you can trust.
Utilize your smart home features
If you’ve got any smart home features, now is the time to make use of them.
For example, have your blinds open and close themselves at different times each day so it appears that your home is still occupied. Televisions and other devices should also be used to help create this illusion during the times when you would normally be watching. Additionally, we recommend switching lights on and off via your connected app at night time for a little extra security.
If your home doesn’t have this level of smart functionality, don’t stress. Simply consider attaching timers to some lights and appliances that make noise, so it still looks like someone is home. This won’t offer the same level of security, as a smart thief that’s scoping out your home could recognize the pattern even if you set timers randomly, but it’s still better than nothing.
Don’t order anything, or at least have it diverted
Another wise move that will help protect your home while you’re on holiday is to avoid ordering anything online. The exception to this is if the delivery date is firmly after your return. We say this because parcels that haven’t been collected are a dead giveaway that no one is home, and essentially act as an invitation to those who don’t have your best interests at heart.
It’s also worth pausing any magazine or newspaper subscriptions that you have, and if this isn’t an option, a mail redirection or hold service is going to be your best friend.
Have someone check-in
If you’re able to get someone to stop by every so often, this is also going to help keep your house safe. Activity is one of the best ways to scare off potential home invaders because if it looks like a house is occupied, they’re probably going to choose an easier target.
A bonus perk of this security measure is that whoever you’re entrusting to visit can also water any plants you may have, bring in any mail that slipped through the cracks and managed to show up, and babysit your spare key, so you’re creating solutions to multiple issues with just one action.
Hot tip: If you don’t have a spare key, or would rather not hand it out, consider installing a smart lock so your watchful helper can still get in and out.
Keep a car in the driveway
If possible, it’s also a great idea to keep a car in the driveway.
Some may argue against this as thieves who scope locations will notice that the vehicle never moves, but many home invasions are opportunistic, so this trick can still be helpful.
Bonus points here if you have whoever is stopping by every so often either move the car or swap theirs with it for a period of time, as this will further enhance security.
Take out the trash
You’re probably wondering how you’re supposed to take out the trash while you’re away, and it’s a fair question, but this point loops back to having someone stop by.
If you can, time it so that their visits line up with bin day and have them either stay overnight or return the next day. Your home will then appear to be running on the same schedule as the occupied ones in the street, therefore further creating the illusion that someone is home and adding extra protection.
This can also be achieved by asking a neighbour to take your bins out and bring them back in if you don’t have someone who can come help out.
Don’t post to socials while you’re away
Finally, as tempting as it may be to post the stunning sights you come across on your travels to your social accounts and stories, it is highly recommended that you refrain from doing so.
In targeted attacks, there is a high chance that thieves are watching your social media, and if you’ve just tagged your location as some exotic destination, they’re now well aware that you’re not home, no matter what steps you’ve taken to make it seem as if you are.
Your holiday snaps will still be just as awesome once you return, so do yourself a favour and pair a digital detox with your adventure.
Thoughts of things going wrong back home shouldn’t ruin your holiday. Implement these safety tips and try to put your stress out of your mind. You’re going away to relax after all, and there will be plenty of day to day things waiting to cause stress when you get back. Get in touch to install extra safety features in your home before you go on holiday.