How Can I Keep My House Safe While On Holiday?
Determining how best to secure your home while you’re on holiday can be a bit of a challenge, particularly if you’re planning to be away for an extended period of time. At CMS Keyholding, we offer bespoke short term property protection service for homeowners seeking temporary security solutions for their home while on holiday. Home property protection during a vacation is not a substitute for installing effective door and window locks, insuring your home and possessions, keeping your security system activated and taking precautions to prepare your home for your absence. Here are our top tips on how to secure your house for an extended vacation.
Keep your curtains open when on holidayCurtains being open or closed at certain times of day can be an indicator that a property is vacant or not being maintained. If there is no one able to regularly draw and open your curtains in the morning and at night, it poses the question over whether to leave them open or closed. Generally, it is better practice to leave curtains open. It’s a far more obvious indicator that your home is empty if your curtains are drawn during the day than it is for curtains to not be drawn during the night, when vision is obscured by darkness. That said, you should never leave valuables anywhere on display near windows. Hanging net curtains or installing venetian blinds can be a way to obscure the vision of anyone hoping to peer inside your home. Blinds can also easily be assumed closed even when not. In addition, there are options for electrically-operated blinds you can set to open and close on a timer.
Install motion-sensor and timed lightsLeaving lights on in your home is generally considered a useful deterrent for any would-be burglar by giving the impression that a home is occupied. Installing outdoor security lights fitted with a motion sensor is also recommended to illuminate and ward off any trespasser on your property. Investing in a simple timer switch for lights, even to power a small lamp in your hall, can give the impression that someone is home. Setting lights to come on at the normal hours you would expect to be home, like evenings or dark mornings can serve as a deterrent to a burglar who might target a home they believe is empty. If you are setting lights to a timer, consider swapping out bulbs for their low-energy counterparts. An 8W bulb might not be powerful enough to illuminate your home day-to-day, but for the purposes of giving the impression that your home is occupied, a low energy bulb can save up to 20% on lighting costs.
Make arrangements to keep your drive occupied when you’re awayJust as a dark house can signal there’s no one home, an empty driveway can give the same impression, particularly if neighbours are used to seeing a car or two parked up out front. Seek favours from neighbours to park their vehicles on your drive, and offer to return the favour next time they’re away. While you’re thinking about how best to keep your driveway looking occupied, be sure to cancel any milk or parcel deliveries to avoid having these pile up out front too. You might even consider having mail redirected if there’s a risk of your letter box filling up. Some people consider renting out their empty driveway space to others while they’re away. But if you decide to go ahead with this option, make sure you do so to a responsible and trustworthy customer—you wouldn’t want to invite a potential criminal to your property, let alone one who knows your home is empty and has somewhere to park the getaway car.
Invest in holiday security gadgets for your homeIf you’re leaving your house empty while you’re on holiday, you might wish to invest in home management gadgets to help maintain control over your home systems. Advanced tech can allow you to remotely turn lights on and off, operate central heating and record live video from inside your home. Smart security solutions like Hive and Canary are home management tools that work in accordance with your standard burglar alarm system allowing you to control the electricals in your home, even answer the doorbell, from a remote holiday location. There are plenty of reported cases where burglars have been caught in the act by such systems, which can aid in prosecuting criminals after the fact. Of course, all the gadgets in the world are no substitute for a real life presence in your home. If you assign a professional keyholder to your property when you’re away, you can rest assured that any alarm system activation will be responded to quickly, any time day or night. With appointed professionals from CMS Keyholding, we ensure your security system is fully compliant with insurance and police requirements to help keep your house safe while you’re on holiday.