Protecting ones’ home is an important part of many peoples’ lives in society today. While it is impossible to always be around to keep watch over your home and protect it from potential invaders there are a few things you can do to help increase the safety of your home while you are away.
Thoroughly Lock Down The House
The most immediate and obvious step to take in keeping your home safe while you are away is ensuring all entrances are properly locked up and secure. This includes entrances, doors between rooms, windows, and any other potential points of entry. Additionally, any hidden spare keys should be retrieved and placed somewhere safe when you leave home for an extended period of time.
Temporarily Stop Mail Services
Large piles of accumulated newspapers and other mail is often a dead giveaway that the owners of a home are away. Criminals might identify this and assume that the house has no occupants. It is therefore wise to temporarily stop all incoming mail services while you are away to prevent any noticeable pile-ups of unclaimed mail outside your house. You could arrange for a trusted friend/family member to collect your mail daily to remove any hints that you might be away.
Install Light Timers
It is often a misconception that simply leaving on a few extra lights may give your house the appearance that someone is home. This may be true in some situations, however; potential intruders may notice if your lights are permanently on and consequently identify that no one is home. Depending on the length of your absence, this may also result in large energy bills. You can also install something called a Fake TV which works in the same fashion.
Pull The Plug On Any Unnecessary Appliances
Unplug any electronics and other house appliances that do not need to remain on while you are away. This includes things such as televisions, toasters, lamps, heaters etc. This will help reduce the possibility of any fires or damage due to electrical surges that may occur when you are not home. Additionally, this will help lower your energy bill as many electronics still consume small amounts of power while plugged in even when they are not performing a function.
Acquire A House Sitter
Having a trusted friend or family member live in your house while you are away is often one of the most effective ways to protect your home. House sitting services do exist too but can be rather pricey. One of the added benefits of having a house sitter is that they can help perform daily tasks in your absence such as watering plants, feeding pets, and collecting your mail.
Don’t Excessively Broadcast Your Absence
While it might be a good idea to let a few friends and family know about your planned absence, broadcasting your vacation plans to the public might attract unwanted guests while you are away. Using social media sites to disclose the details of your vacation plans might help tip off potential intruders and create unnecessary risk.
Don’t Do Things Out Of The Ordinary
At first, you might think an obvious step in keeping your home safe while you are away is to conceal every window and draw all of the curtains. Although this will make it difficult for intruders to peer into your home, it might also alert them to your absence if they notice this to be out of the ordinary. If you typically have your curtains open and potential intruders suddenly notice that they have remained unopened for a few days they might regard this as a hint to your absence.
Switch Off Water Mains
While you are away you will be unable to identify and prevent any potential water leakages or burst water pipes on your property. It is, therefore, a good idea to switch off the water supply to your house entirely to prevent any interior flooding or other possible water damage from happening while you are away. Additionally, water gutters and drains should be checked and cleaned before you leave to help reduce the risk of flooding from rain in your absence.
Remove Valuables From Sight
Any valuables such as jewellery, expensive ornaments, antiques etc. should be hidden or preferably be temporarily moved to a safe while you are away. Items such as these are ideal for intruders to steal as they are valuable, easy to carry and remove. An alternative option is to leave items such as these with a trusted friend or family member for safekeeping until you return.
Leaving your home unattended will always have an inherent risk due to potential criminal threats as well as other unforeseen events that may cause damage to your home. However, by following the steps above you can greatly reduce these risks to help ensure your home is as safe as possible while you are away.