We’ve all heard at least one terror story about a family coming back home from a long holiday only to find that their house has been broken into. Complications like these can cost thousands of rupees to fix and are guaranteed to cause a lot of stress. Luckily, there are a plethora of things you can do to prevent security breaches while you’re off on a family adventure.
We have gathered the following tips to help you prepare your house for safety before you go out of town and relax while you are away. Some of them need a little investment and planning, but taking these steps now will save you from major headaches down the road.
Don’t tell everyone you’re going away
You might be excited but declaring loudly in the local shop, or on social media, that you’re off to your dream destination for a few weeks is not a great idea. You don’t know who is listening! Also, don’t leave messages on voicemails explaining that you are away. Try to restrict information about your location only to trusted friends and neighbours.
Keep the garden clear
Mowing the lawn before you leave will not only prevent you from returning to the wilderness, but a tidy, well-kept garden makes it look like someone is at home.
Make it look like someone’s home
Stopping your mail or having a neighbour pick it up is one significant step in making your home look like someone is living in it while you’re away. You can also ask your neighbour to park their second car in your driveway.
Stop mail delivery
Put a short hold on your mail and newspaper delivery. A pile of newspapers on the doorstep is a clear sign of no one being at home. Also, if you’re an online shopper, make sure not to order anything that will be delivered while you’re gone. A package lying out on the porch is a temptation, and your things could easily be stolen or damaged.
Unplug the electronics
Unplugging your electronics shields them from potential surge damage. You can also invest in a surge protector but disconnecting your appliances has the additional benefit of saving you money on your electricity bill.
Install lights on a timer
Lights going on and off are a definite sign of occupancy. Place photosensitive bulbs that switch on when it gets dark externally, or buy timer plugs that switch lamps on and off automatically.
Leave curtains and blinds open
Curtains drawn during bright daylight are a giveaway to housebreakers. Ensure all valuables are removed from clear sight but keep the curtains open.
Lock up valuables in a safe
Put your valuables in a safe or some other secure spot before you leave on your trip. Make a record of your valuables by taking pictures, so if something goes wrong, you have a list to give to your insurance company.
Lock the doors and windows
Before you leave for the trip, double check that you have locked all the doors and windows properly. If you have sliding doors, insert a wooden or metal rod in the track so that if someone tries to pick the lock, they still won’t be able to open the door.
Inform your insurance company
It is fundamental that everyone owning a house should have a home insurance policy. Some insurance companies have restrictions on the length of time you can be absent and still protected under the plan. When you decide the itinerary, also check in with your insurance provider about the coverages your home insurance provides. A home insurance policy not only protects your home contents against unforeseen circumstances but also gives you peace of mind when you are out and about.