Just like your airport parking, home security when you are away is something you don’t tend to think about until just before you go away.
But it is hugely important and definitely worth planning for!
With that in mind, we asked some of the experts in travel, parenting and security exactly how to ensure your home stays safe while you’re away.
And we’ve even included a handy checklist for you to stick to the fridge so you know what you should be doing the week, day and minute before you leave!
Home Security Infographic
Home Security Expert Tips
Give a Neighbour a Key
Charlotte from parenting and lifestyle blog Mummy Fever:
“Keep a few curtains drawn so its not possible to always see in every window. Give a friend or relative a key so they can collect the post for you, as built-up post is a bit of a giveaway.
“And make sure you cut the grass just before you go away so it doesn’t look too overgrown whilst you are on holiday.”
Word Your Postman Up
Colette from family blog We’re Going On an Adventure:
“I always make sure I let my postman know when I’m going to be away so he knows to make sure parcels are taken back to the post office or left with neighbours rather than by the back door.
“I also ensure I let me neighbours know I’m going away so they can keep an eye out for anything unusual and pop my bins out for me! I’m lucky to have lovely local people!”
No Holiday Snaps
Sarah from security retailer Safe:
“20% of us post photos on social media while on holiday, playing into the hands of tech-savvy burglars and less than one in 10 of us keep spare keys in a key safe when we go on holiday, instead opting for plant pots, doormats and trusted neighbours.
“Plus, 33% panic about not locking windows, so print and tick off a checklist as you go.”
Make Your Home Smart
“We have a smart home monitoring kit that we can use from afar. It’s reassuring being able to check live footage of our home, switch on lights via a smart plug and also knowing that we’ll be alerted if the doors are opened.”
Katie from life blog Mummy Snowy Owl:
“I like to leave and come back to a spotless house but it’s not realistic for when we are there! So I leave random toys out!”
Suewan from travel guide RTW Families:
“When we leave our house we try to make it as secure as possible by setting automatic timers for our lights. Depending on the season we will have the lights come on in the early evening and go off again in the morning. We have also set our television to come on for short periods in the evening.
“If we are away for longer than a few days then we will ask neighbours to come and open and close curtains for us.”
Rent Out Your House
“I use the Philips Hue system to schedule various room lights to come on and off at various times (best of all, they’re linked to sunset, so they come on at sunset, whether that’s at 4pm in winter or 10pm in summer) and devices from WeMo to schedule light-strips (which come on just after sunset).
“Both of these functions can be tied to things such as sunset, or random timing. If you wanted to, you could set a radio to come on a roughly random time each day.
“This might be a bit out-of-the-box, but I now also rent my house out on airbnb while I’m away – so not only is there someone genuinely in the house, but I’m getting paid for it too.”
Kyle from international flight site Dollar Flight Club:
“A low budget trick that is cheap and efficient for keeping people away from entering your home while gone is using a Wemo mini smart plug to give the appearance that you’re home.
“Just hook one up to the lamp in the living room or bedroom and you can set it to randomly turn on/off while your gone. Gives the appearance that people are home while you’re actually gone.
“Low cost tip: Buy security stickers and place them on your windows or door.”
Dan from locksmith GPM Locks gave us a pretty comprehensive home security hitlist to finish off:
- Do not mention on social media about your holiday. I have known people to look at the victim’s profile pages to confirm they are away.
- Use timed security lighting in multiple rooms. The hallway is not good enough. You need lights turning on and off at different times. There are many apps now where this can be done remotely.
- Ask a friend or neighbour to open and shut the curtains.
- Ask a friend or neighbour to park a spare car on the drive
- Make sure all doors and windows are double locked and are all up to insurance standards.
- Make sure you have an alarm and it is set. If it is a responsive alarm. see if your key holder friend can be the one who gets called.
- If you are away for regular periods you can arrange for a local security company to drive by and check your property
- Keep possible intruders away with things like cctv sighs and beware of the dog signs.
- External lighting should be used. These can be put on senses to save power
- Smart doorbells such as “ring” can notify you via an app if anyone is at your door. You can talk too and see the person at your door.
- Zone down your property. If someone does brake in make their life hard by having other doors in your property locked.
- Keep valuables in a home safe.
Home Security Checklist
And don’t forget to print off the checklist below so you remember to do absolutely everything in the weeks, days and minutes before you set off for the airport!