Going on holiday? 7 Ways to keep an empty home safe and secure

December 2, 2015

Amongst all the excitement and planning of holidays away, we can sometimes forget that our homes will be empty for a period of time. Without people there, things can fall into disrepair, disaster can strike, or unsavoury characters can wander in and steal precious belongings.

By preparing your home when it’s going to be empty for a while, you’ll avoid any nasty surprises that will be there when you get back. We’ve got a few great tips to help!

1. Tell your landlord and neighbours
As a tenant, keeping the communication lines open with your landlord/property manager is essential. Let them know if you’ll be leaving the house for a while, and the dates you’ll be away. It also means that any repair or maintenance activities can be carried out when you’re not home meaning you’ll return to a good surprise!

Tell your neighbours as well, and together with your landlord, they’ll be able to keep an eye on your home – they may be able to help with collecting the mail as well, or parking a car in your driveway to make the house look occupied.

2. Switch off
If you’re heading away for more than a few days, switch off unnecessary electronics like televisions, radios and charging devices and stop the flow of any gas bottles supplying the house to prevent accidental fires or leaks.

3. Tidy yards and ‘act the thief’
Not only is it great to come back to a clean yard (front and back), having a clear area makes your home safer too.

Put away barbeques, tools, mowers or anything else outside to prevent them from being stolen. Trim any unruly bushes, trees or shrubbery to stop people hiding there or damaging the house in bad weather. Walk around the outside of the house, looking in windows and seeing if there are any valuables in view. If so, make sure they are hidden or moved into secure storage.

4. Avoid spoils
Rifle through the fridge and cupboards and take stock of the expiry dates of its contents. If you have food you know will expire while you’re away, try and eat all perishable items before leaving, or give it to neighbours or friends.

5. Set timers
Give the illusion that someone is home at night by setting lighting on timers. Use timers to turn on for a time period during the evening to make the home looked lived in.

6. Look after your future self
The last thing you’ll feel like doing on your return is having to prepare a meal, and its likely you want have the necessary fresh ingredients on hand. Make time before you go to make a meal (enough for everyone in the house) and put it in the freezer. When you get back, all you have to do is heat it up!

7. Lock everything, and double check
One of the simplest and yet most effective tips! Make sure all windows and doors are closed and locked. Check and then double check, and ask someone else to check as well – you can never be too sure.

Most of all – have a great holiday! Rest assured that your property will be in good hands while you’re away. Do you have any pre-trip rituals, or have we missed any? We’d love to hear about it, let us know in a comment below.

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