With many Brits planning their holidays for 2024, ensuring your belongings remain safe in your home is important, as an empty house could easily be acknowledged by unwanted visitors. Whether you’re heading on a bank holiday getaway or a two-week excursion abroad, anything from gadgets to expensive clothing can be vulnerable without proper precautions being taken.
However, experts at Howden Insurance have revealed their top tips on keeping your house safe to reduce the risks of being faced with house damage, stolen items, and loss of personal property upon returning from your holiday.
Make sure to set your alarms
It may seem like the most obvious way to warn off burglars is by simply locking your doors to keep them out, but it can be easily forgotten if you are late for a flight or trying to avoid rush hour – and even when your doors are locked, it does not guarantee that burglars won’t find another way in. Ensure your alarms are set whenever the house is vacant to make sure any unwanted visitors will be caught almost immediately.
Don’t forget, it is still possible to get robbed in broad daylight. Burglars may gain a rough idea of when you will or won’t be in the house, so the likelihood of being robbed in the day can just be as likely as being robbed at night. Therefore, you should make sure your alarms are set throughout at the day as well as the nighttime.
Use smart plugs for lights
Not everyone has sophisticated lights that dim or are on a timer in their homes, but there is no need to run up a huge electricity bill or break the bank by leaving them on all day. Consider purchasing a few affordable smart plugs for lamps around the house, particularly in rooms that will be visible to passers-by. This way, you can turn lights on and off when you like and needn’t worry about leaving lights switched on for hours on end throughout the day and night. As a result, the house will seem as though it still has occupants inside and the property is not empty.
Be mindful of social media
It is very easy to forget that it is not always just your friends who can view your profiles on certain social media platforms. As much as everyone likes to show off their chosen holiday destination, it may make your house a more attractive target and increase the chance of a break-in. Social media posts from your activities abroad are entertaining and popular to watch, but the wrong people can easily acknowledge them.
To avoid this, ensure that images or videos you share from your holiday away are only visible to your friends, and turn any accounts on private mode so that only people you trust know your true location. Depending on how much you share on social media, any indication of your whereabouts can be suggestive as to when you are most likely to be away from home.
Let your neighbours and landlord know if you are planning on going away
It is particularly important to let the people around you know if you will be absent for a short while, regardless of whether this is just for a night or two. If neighbours are aware that you’re gone and hear noise coming from around your house, they would know to treat it as suspicious activity and take further action if needed.
If you are a renter, letting the landlord know you aren’t going to be home would be beneficial for their peace of mind as well as yours. They may even visit the property to make small changes, such as giving the curtains and blinds an adjustment so that it looks like someone is home.
Imply security is in place
While your house may not be fitted with CCTV due to its costs, burglars aren’t necessarily aware of this. It may be worth investing in some signs to put in your window or by the front door with ‘CCTV in operation’, or any sign to imply that the house is under surveillance. It is a simple but effective way to warn off burglars, and it won’t be as pricey as genuine surveillance appliances; thus, it is a simple yet effective way to help keep your house safe and secure while you are away.
However, a doorbell that features a camera, such as Ring, may be a worthy investment so that anyone approaching your house can be viewed on your phone, no matter your location; prices can vary from £50 to £300 on websites like Amazon, depending on the brand you select.
A spokesperson from Howden Insurance has commented on these findings: “Going on holiday should be a joyous occasion where you get to enjoy time away from work with friends or family. However, there is always a concern that intruders could reap the benefits of an empty house filled with lots of valuable possessions, so it is important to be vigilant of your home's safety when planning a trip. Fortunately, there are certain steps you can take to reduce any worries about your home and make sure you can enjoy your well-deserved holiday to the full extent.”
“Taking these proper precautions before leaving your house for any reason will put your mind at ease and reduce the chances of a burglary. All techniques are affordable, practical, and a great way to protect your home.”