Your summer holiday is fast approaching and you have lots to do before you leave. Passports, travel insurance, luggage labels, bookings, transfers... your checklist seems endless. You might also be thinking about how you can ensure your home is safe whilst you’re away. To make your time off as stress-free as possible, here are a few tips on how to keep your home safe while on holiday, not only in the summer, but for all your breaks throughout the year.
Cancel regular deliveries
The risk of attracting unwanted attention can be reduced by pausing your regular deliveries, such as newspapers or a milk delivery. You might want to ask your friend or a neighbour remove any post that may be visible in your letterbox or lying on your doormat too, so there are no obvious signs that your home is vacant.
Leave your curtains open
Curtains or blinds being open or closed at certain times of day can be an indicator that a property is empty, making it obvious that your home is unoccupied. Generally, it is better to leave the curtains open. Therefore, protect your home and reduce the risk of unwanted visitors by ensuring your curtains and blinds are open when you leave and that lights are turned off. If your curtains are open, ensure that all valuables are moved out of obvious view.
Consider installing a light on a timer switch that comes on in the evening. You could alternatively get photosensitive bulbs that switch on when a certain level of darkness is reached. You might also wish to invest in home management gadgets to help maintain control over your home systems. Smart lighting, for example, can now be controlled remotely from your mobile so you can switch your lights on whilst on the beach.
Watering plants and mowing your front garden before you go away will give the impression of a well-maintained and healthy frontage and therefore give the impression that you are at home. You could ask your friend or a neighbour to water your pot plants, too. If possible, ask your close neighbours to park their vehicles on your drive to give the impression someone is home, and offer to return the favour next time they are away.
Clean the kitchen (depending on the length of your holiday)
Depending on the length of your time away, it is a good idea to clear your kitchen. Throw away any food that might go off from kitchen countertops and cupboards. Do the same with flowers in vases and fruit bowls. Alternatively, swap the real flowers for artificial ones; this is a good idea, especially if your kitchen can be viewed through a window. As a bonus, a nice and clean kitchen will be greeting you when you return.
You might also want to consider switching off appliances in your kitchen, and elsewhere in the property, while you are away. But remember, check if you have any food in the fridge or freezer before switching it off.
You can view more helpful information for tenants in our information pack here.