2 Jun 2014
We know that many Padstow to Picnic Point residents are planning to go away this summer, or busy planning their trip for later in 2014, so we thought now would be the perfect time to share our tips for keeping your home safe while you’re away. After all, on holidays is the last place you want to be worrying about whether your TV is still sitting peacefully in its place.
- Start by getting some help from a friend or neighbour. If you don’t have a trusted friend or relative who can housesit for you, the next best thing is to have somebody pop in as often as possible to check on things and make the house appear lived in. If somebody is on the lookout for an easy target, your home won’t be on their radar if there is somebody regularly coming and going, rather than just having it sit idle.
- People seem to have different theories about whether to leave lights on or off, and curtains closed or open. There aren’t any guarantees, but we always say to leave things as they would usually be. The more ‘normal’ your house seems, the less likely people will be to think it’s vacant. If the curtains are usually open, leave them open, otherwise don’t. It’s not economical or ‘green’ to leave the lights on for days on end, but if you have a friend popping by ask them to come by at night to keep up appearances. A great alternative is to buy a timer, and program your lights to switch themselves on and off at appropriate times.
- Stop you mail or have it collected. An overflowing letterbox will make it obvious to all passers-by that you’re not around.
- Don’t advertise your itinerary on social media websites. These days, within minutes of waking up you can see how many of your friends have been for a run, gone to the gym, had a bad public transport experience, and even what a few have had to eat for breakkie. It’s the age of letting everyone know your every move on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although we know you’re probably bursting at the seams to tell the world about your upcoming trip away, we strongly advise that you keep it to yourself until you get back. Posting dates your house will be unattended on the internet isn’t the best way to keep your most valued possessions safe.
- Finally, remove spare keys from around your house (no matter how well you think it’s disguised behind the loose brick or under the fake rock), and provide a trusted friend or neighbour with your alarm codes in case it’s set off while you’re away. If your holiday is for longer than a week it also doesn’t hurt to inform your local police.