Holidays are just my favourite thing in the whole world. I love being away somewhere different having our family adventures, but being the worrying type I can't help but constantly think about what we will get home to, and so I like to prepare as much as I can so that from the outside, it isn't too obvious we have gone away. It's horrible to have to think like that, but unfortunately it's so common these days I just can't help but worry.
I thought I would share a few ideas that you can try, that may help deter someone seeking access to your home this holiday season. With the bank holiday coming up too and lots of people heading off on holiday - it's prime time for people to fall victim to break ins and thefts. We have had it happen ourselves and it's an experience I wouldn't wish on anyone. I've also come across a new gadget that is perfect for helping you keep your home safe, which I will share with you later! So here are my top tips to stay security savvy with your home;
Never leave a spare key outside
This one speaks for itself, but from experience - you never know who could be watching you retrieve it, just waiting for the opportunity to return for a look around! It's far safer to leave a key with someone you trust in case of emergencies. Items like the rock safes that you hide a key in are all well and good, but I'm sure they would soon be sniffed out by a seasoned criminal nowadays, let's not make it that easy for them. I know so many people that do this or leave a key under the door mat (really!) it's time to stop.
Never announce you are going away online
If you are using a closed secured Facebook account, where you can be certain of the fact that only close family and friends can read your updates - go right ahead and announce your plans. On an open or unsecured platform however, you never know who's reading your goings on, so it's really important to not give criminals the opportunity to gain knowledge; like when your home will be empty. By all means share your excitement of upcoming vacations, but don't disclose personal information like dates and destinations unless you can be sure who is reading.
Tell a neighbour
Make sure to tell a trustworthy neighbour you are going away and give them your contact number. If they know that the house is empty, then they will be on high alert to any unknowns entering your home - or acting suspiciously. It's not fun getting a call from home to say something is up, but better to be kept in the loop than come home to a nightmare!
Curtains are one big indicator to the status of your home. We quite often have our curtains closed at the front for some privacy, so we would leave them this way, but if you are a bit more organised and open them regularly - then I would leave them open - or open mid way at least. The key is to not make anything look too different to the norm, to lessen the clues of an empty property.
Move it or lose it
It seems an obvious one, but try and leave as little in terms of valuables, cash or electrical items on show. You don't need to go as far as to bury the TV in the garden, but definitely hide tablets and mobiles that you are leaving behind tucked away in a drawer and nowhere near any easy access points such as windows or vents.
Light up, light up
Lights have to be the biggest giveaway when it comes to knowing a house is empty, and this is where we can really put people off chancing a break in. We all know that it would look slightly odd having no lights on, or likewise having lots on all day and night - this will be why the humble switch timer was invented for your plug sockets.
I have a great tip now though - after discovering this new gadget from Switched On Products, that with just a few minutes, if not seconds to instal, allows you to set times on your big ceiling lights via the wall switch - totally genius! Take a look at the GIF below - you can see how easy it is. You literally unscrew your switch, pop the cover over and slot on the device , tighten and voila! You don't need to mess with any electricity cables or do anything remotely dangerous. You can control two switches with the one device and choose different times for different days or choose a random mode where the device will switch the lights on at varying times - how cool is that? It's no wonder everyone is going mad for this.
Being able to control a wider variety of lighting means that it will provide much more of a deterrent to those looking for empty homes. This is such an innovative idea that I just had to share. I love a gadget too and it is so easy to fix in place it took me a matter of minutes. If you are someone that tends to leave your lights on while you are away, I know we do - then this will save you a fortune on your electricity bill too, as it really needn't be on all day. You use these lights every day already, so it will be a lot more convincing and nothing out of the ordinary to see them flicking on and off. I'm pretty sure there is nothing else like that out there and when trying to think of unique ideas for home security, this one blew me away. You can still use it as a normal light switch so you needn't put on and off if you don't want to between trips. The switch is super easy to use and I love knowing I can be one step ahead of those pesky burglars. There have been so many burglaries in our area, I try and do everything I can.
I love the idea as well that if we are going out even just for the day, then we can programme this so that we don't come home to a dark house - pretty comforting. When I tested this out I found myself sat in the garden waiting while I watched through a window for my house to illuminate - bizarre I know but fun at the same time. These switches are police approved and I think are a well worthy bargain of an investment at only £29.99. You would be easily saving that in other costs and it can be used over and over again.
I hope I have given you some new ideas to keep your home secure this bank holiday, as well as future breaks. Always remember that there are vacant property services which will look after your property if you are away for long periods of time too. The main thing to remember is to provide as little information, opportunity and reason for anyone to access your home.
Are you going away this bank holiday? Do you have any other ideas that I could try?
Thanks for reading,
Disclosure - we were sent this product in exchange for it's feature on this post. All words and thoughts are my own and this item was included as I feel it is truly great!