How to keep your family home safe while you’re away on holiday

how to keep your home safe when you're away on holiday

It can be hard to relax and have fun when you’re worrying about your belongings back at home. Here, Wasim Bux, from vehicle and home insurance provider iGO4, shares his top tips for keeping your home secure against break-ins while you’re away on holiday.

If there’s one thing that can spoil the perfect family holiday, it’s worrying about the security of your home and belongings. A vacation is supposed to be a time to relax and let go, so you certainly don’t want to spend your precious family time fretting about the possibility of a burglary back at home.

Thieves are opportunistic, which means that they’ll strike any property they think is going to be an easy target. The good news is that with proper security systems and smart deterrents, it’s possible to put off any would-be thieves and lessen the risk of a break-in. In this post, I’ll talk about the essential things you need to do to protect your home and valuable items from thieves, so you can enjoy a worry-free family holiday. Just read on to learn more.

Make it look like someone’s at home

House with lights on

A dark, unlit house will tell any watching burglars that your home is sitting unoccupied, so you’ll need to find a way to keep a few lights on during your time away. This will give the illusion of someone occupying your home during the evening, or on dark winter mornings.

Timer plugs allow you to pre-programme lamps to switch on at certain times and can be found at most DIY stores for just a few pounds. You’ll want to avoid simply setting one up in the hallway, and neglecting the rest of the house, though: this is a common trick, and burglars are often wise to it. Instead, make sure you have one in the living room and one in a front-facing bedroom and set them up to come on and off a few times throughout the evening.

Secure any outbuildings, garages and sheds

We often store lots of expensive equipment in our sheds, garages, and outhouses, but not many people realise just how vulnerable these areas are to burglaries. Thieves will often break into sheds first to find power tools, which they will then use to break into your home, so securing your outbuildings can be an important part of keeping the rest of your property safe, too.

If you’ve got pricey tools and equipment in your shed, you should be double locking it with two high-quality, extra tough padlocks (fitted to both the top and bottom of the door, so it’s harder to force open). For extra peace of mind, you might want to consider adding a motion-activated, battery operated alarm, which will deter any would-be intruders with a loud siren.

Ask a neighbour or family member to keep an eye on things

If you’re going away for longer than a week, then it’s a smart idea to ask a neighbour, relative, or friend to call in on your property every other day to check everything is ok. You can also ask them to make sure that there are no obvious signs that your home is unoccupied — like leaves piling up on pathways or letters sticking out of the letterbox, for instance.

This should be someone who you can place total trust in, like a family member or friend you’ve known for many years, as you’ll need to give them a key. You can repay them for their time by bringing back a thoughtfully chosen souvenir from your travels, or a bottle of their favourite wine from duty-free. You could even offer to return the favour next time they go on holiday.

Stop post building up on the doormat

A pile of unopened post on the doormat or poking through your letterbox will immediately tell burglars that your home has been empty for a few days — especially if you’ve got a glass window or panel on your front door. So, it’s a good idea to ask a friend or relative to call in and collect your post for you. If there’s no one nearby, then consider using Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service: for a fee, they’ll hold onto your mail and keep it safe for up to 100 days. You should also cancel any regular newspapers or other deliveries for the duration of your trip.

Use tech to keep an eye on things

For extra peace of mind, you can even use some modern tech to keep your home secure. A remote security camera will allow you to keep an eye on your house via your smartphone, so you can see what’s going on as you lounge by the pool. There aisa range of smartphone compatible, motion- and sound-activated security cameras, which you can often monitor using a specially designed app. There are ranges out there which include indoor and weatherproof styles, so you can check up on your home both internally and externally from afar.

Holidays should be a stress-free time to kick back with your family, so you certainly don’t want to spend your trip worrying about falling victim to a break-in. But, as long as you follow my helpful tips for making your property more secure and find clever ways to make your home appear occupied, you can reduce your risk of being targeted by burglars.

* Post written by Wasim Bux, from vehicle and home insurance provider iGO4*Never miss a new post!

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Leyla Preston (564 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 6. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: