How to keep your home safe this summer

The summer months bring longer days, sunshine (hopefully) and for many of us, holidays. However, even though it is exciting to head off for a week or two of relaxation and fun, it can be a bit of a worry leaving your home alone for such a long time. If you are off on holiday this summer, even for just a few days, it is worth bearing in mind a few things that can keep your home and its contents safe in your absence.

Lock it up
It may seem like the most obvious thing to do, but making sure the home is locked up tight before you go away is often overlooked. Windows with locks may be left open for the rest of the year, so go round and double check before you leave. Make sure your garage and shed are secure and padlock gates into the back garden or yard; it is a lot easier for someone to break in round the back, out of view of passers-by. Check that your burglar alarm is properly set for you to be out of the house and doesn’t default to a nighttime setting if it has one.

Disguise your absence
The classic giveaway of an empty house is milk bottles lining up on the doorstep and whilst this is less common now, there are still signs that can tip off an eagle-eyed burglar. If you have an opaque glass front door, a pile of post can become visible. Try to arrange for someone to come and pick it up as well as water the plants. It is also a good idea to ask this kindly person to open and close your curtains and turn lights on and off to create the illusion of the house being occupied. If you don’t have anyone checking on your house, automatic timers for lights will control them for you.

Try to avoid accidents
Your home isn’t just at risk from intruders whilst you are away. Other things can cause damage such as leaks or bad weather. If there is the possibility of a frost whilst you are away, leave a tap dripping to avoid frozen, then burst pipes. Switch off and unplug any electrical equipment that you can; this will also save you money. Obviously, you can’t switch off the fridge, but do try to empty it of anything that will go off in your absence and turn the power down. Turn your boiler off or your thermostat down very low.

It is impossible to predict everything that could go wrong in your absence, but a few simple things can give you peace of mind. One final thing is to make sure your buildings and contents or tenant insurance is up to date so that if the worst does happen you will be covered financially and your holiday will not be ruined on your return.