A little planning ahead can give you ultimate peace of mind while you’re away on your travels. It’s imperative to ensure that your home isn’t inviting thieves in when you’re not there, so try and avoid any expensive insurance claims on your return by following these straight-forward security steps.
Tell a trusted neighbour that you’re planning to go away travelling, so that they can keep an eye on your property. You can also give this person a key so that he or she can bring your mail in, perhaps water your plants, or rake leaves in. You can also offer to let your neighbours use your driveway to park their car. Often they won’t mind parking in your spot and the occasional shift in movement will make the house look occupied.
Be subtle on the web and don’t advertise your departure. The anonymity of the internet often means that our posts can be reached by people we don’t know. Make sure that only people you know and trust are aware of your travel plans. If you can’t resist boasting about your exciting trip, then ensure that you have high security settings on your social media pages before you post.
Security lighting is a necessity and movement sensors should be installed to illuminate anything that comes close to your property. Don’t leave any lights on to give the false impression that someone’s home, as permanent lighting will indicate that a light’s been left on for that reason only. Instead, purchase a programmable light switch from an online store such as CNM Online
which enables you to control your lighting at pre set times. Set a number of lights in different rooms, as well as the security lights outside, on different time schedules, so that lights come on and off in realistic patterns.
Check your home insurance policy before you go away to confirm which parts of your building and it’s contents are covered. Although your insurance should protect you against loss or theft whilst you’re away, it’s important to double check. You may also discover that your home insurance only covers you for time periods under 60 days, so it’s worth checking with your provider before you jet off.
Remove the spare key from outside your home. Spare keys are too easy to find and are often very easy to access. If you still require a hidden key, try a lock box or leave a key with someone you trust. If you have an automatic garage door, consider disabling it whilst you’re on your travels. Tech-savvy burglars can easily work out the code to trigger the door and gain access to your property.
Luggage tags can also be a giveaway to skilled thieves. Most people put a tag on their luggage incase it gets lost during travelling, however, the information you put on the tag can be just as important as what you leave off. You should always put your name and phone number and the address of your destination, if you know it. Never put your home address or landline phone number. Those that see your luggage tag will know that you’re not at home and can easily work out where your house is. If you need to put an address on your luggage, go for a place that isn’t where you reside permanently, such as a friends house, or your workplace.
Lock all your doors and windows, including doors to the garden shed. Make sure you shut and lock all of your windows and don’t leave the keys nearby or in sight. Don’t leave any car keys or valuable items in sight, either. Use a secure, well hidden place to leave any valuables. Don’t choose an obvious hiding place, such as your underwear drawer or under the bed – these are classic hiding places, which any burglar will search instantly.