How safe is your house?
Whether you’re jetting off to sunny Spain or visiting your in-laws for the week, the last thing you want to be worrying about while on holiday is the very place you’ve come to escape from – home!
Luckily for you, Bobatoo has come up with 8 tips and tricks you can use to protect your home until you return.
1. Keep the bragging to a minimum
You may think that your 257 Facebook friends and 85 Instagram followers look forward to your daily pool-side selfies and ice-cream snaps, and perhaps they do, but so do any potential burglars!
Keep the social media posts to a bare minimum and, if you are posting, make sure that your address isn’t readily available to anybody who might misuse it by taking down any old events or invites that you’ve got posted online.
2. Check the T’s and C’s of your home insurance
If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, your home insurance provider may require you to tell them about it.
This is usually only for trips lasting more than 30 days, but each policy will differ – if you’re unsure, there’s no harm in telling them anyway.
If you’re away for longer than 30 days then your insurer may only pay out a percentage of the cover that you’d usually get, while some will agree to adjust this period depending on your circumstances. You can also purchase unoccupied property insurance (or unoccupied home insurance), which could cover you against storms, floods or fire damage as well as vandalism and theft.
3. Be smart about your security
Smart home security is one of the best ways to ward off potential burglars.
Here’s some of Bobatoo’s favourite smart home security gadgets, all available on Amazon:
Phillips Hue Lighting System
Phillips Hue lights can be controlled from your phone and placed on a timer, making them the perfect option for fooling burglars into thinking you’re at home.
They have a whole range of other cool features, too, with a choice of 16 million different colours!
Ring video doorbell 2
The Ring Video Doorbell 2 allows you to see, hear and speak to anybody at your front door directly from your smartphone.
It will notify you when there is movement detected outside your door or if somebody rings the bell and acts as a 24-hour infrared security camera which can be livestreamed to your phone.
The Neos SmartCam is a great home security camera if you’re on a budget. The camera is for indoor use only but comes with 8x digital zoom and night vision as well as motion and voice detection, recording a short clip when its sensors are set off. Livestream the footage straight to your phone or view and download saved clips from a free, encrypted cloud storage service.
Having security is a definite deterrent to potential burglars, so make sure they know that it’s there by placing some home security stickers around your property.
4. Sign up to a neighbourhood watch scheme
Signing up to a neighbourhood watch scheme can not only help you to develop friendships with your surrounding neighbours, but it can also reduce your risk of being burgled.
Becoming an active member of a neighbourhood watch scheme has also been proven to reduce home insurance premiums with some insurers.
Pop your postcode into OurWatch.org.uk to see if your local community is a neighbourhood watch area.
5. Keep any valuables locked away
Any valuables being left behind should be kept well out of sight and, if possible, under lock and key.
Avoid obvious hiding places (sock drawers, under the mattress etc.) and consider investing in a security safe, like this one on Amazon! This digital safe is sealed with 2 live-door bolts and has a removable inner shelf. It can also be bolted to the floor, wall or a shelf for extra security.
6. Cancel doormat deliveries
If you have a subscription for bottled milk, a daily newspaper or anything else which is left on your doorstep, make sure you cancel it before going away.
An accumulation of uncollected deliveries will make your home a prime target for thieves – and it won’t just be your gone-off milk that they’ll be after!
7. Triple check that you’ve locked everything
Some home insurance policies won’t pay out if a burglar has entered your property through an unlocked door or window, so make sure that if somebody really wants to steal your stuff, they’ll at least have to break a sweat to do so!
8. Mow before you go
Any thief will see an overgrown garden as a potential indicator that you’re away from home. Complete some basic ground maintenance a few days before you leave the house if you can or, if you have a gardener or window cleaner, keep up that schedule while you’re away.
So there you have it: 8 simple ways to protect your home against thieves while you’re off on your holidays – but remember, having an adequate level of home insurance is the most effective and important way of securing your home – just be sure you know exactly what your policy covers you for.