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Regardless of the type of holiday you are going on, weekend camping break, two weeks abroad.
Your first consideration should be the home that you’re leaving behind.
Always aim to make your home look occupied.
Cancel newspaper and milk deliveries so that it is not obvious that you’re away.
Fit timer switches to turn lights on a set times or randomly.
Lock all doors, windows, gates, sheds etc.
Before you leave, mow the lawn, to keep things looking maintained for longer.
Don’t advertise the fact that you are going to be away.
In these days of Facebook and Twitter, it is all too common for us to say a little too much sometimes. If you must announce your holiday to the world, make sure that it’s after your return.
The same applies in the “real world” too. Be careful when you tell people of an imminent holiday, as you never know who may overhear you.
One more thing. Never leave a message on your home answerphone telling callers that you are away, and how long you will be away for. Far better to discretely inform those who need to know, by calling or emailing them personally.
Someone To Look In.
Ask a friend, neighbour or relative to regularly look-in on your property to make sure that all is well.
If possible, ask them to open and close your curtains for you at the appropriate times, to collect up any mail, (a mountain of letters on the doormat is a dead giveaway that no-one’s there). And feed and look after any pets that you may be leaving behind. Having someone put your wheelie bin/recycling bins out on the appropriate days is good too.
Don’t forget to show your appreciation on your return, a nice gift perhaps, and remember to return the favour the next time that they go on holiday.
If you are taking your car with you, then, see if a friend or neighbour can park their car on your driveway. Empty driveways are a big clue that the house is unnocupied.
If you are not able to have a friend/neighbour collect up any mail for you, then you can get the Royal Mail to hold onto it until you return.
If you are going away for a longer period, see if someone will mow the lawn for you.
You may also want to consider asking someone to house-sit for you, especially if you are going away for a long break. Friends and family are ideal, but many people house-sit professionally. (Always check references, and make sure they are trustworthy first). Personal recommendations are great.
Whether it’s a friend looking in occasionally, or a full time housesitter, make sure that they know how to use your door locks, and anything else that may crop up.
Don’t forget to leave your contact details with them, in case of emergency! And perhaps a backup family members contact details, in case you can’t be reached.
Ready To Go.
If you’ve done all of the above, then it’s probably time to depart.
If at all possible, try to keep your departure as low-key as possible.
You, piling the roof rack and boot with your luggage and essentials will, of course, be a pretty obvious sign of a soon-to-be-empty house. We appreciate that this is difficult to conceal without using military style manoeuvres, or slipping away under cover of darkness, but, do be aware.
Similarly, the sudden absence of a caravan or motorhome, when they are normally a feature on your driveway, will give an obvious suggestion that you are away. Again, there is very little that you can do to hide this, so make absolutely sure that the house appears to still be occupied.
Don’t forget, before you depart, to make a final check that all doors and windows are locked and everything that needs turning off is turned off.
Of course, keeping your home safe during your absence is only half the story. You also need to take care of yourself, and your possessions when travelling, and at your holiday destination.
We have compiled some security tips to keep you safe here too. (Just when you thought the lecture was over)!
Please choose from the following sections for more info: