Keep your home safe while on holiday

Brent Palmer
Brent Palmer
Published on August 23, 2018

Planning a holiday is distracting. Sitting at your desk at work, mentally going over what you’ll need to pack, visions of sandy beaches, cocktail in hand and cool water dancing in your brain – there’s not a lot of room to consider anything else. But you should, your property. It is safe?

So, before you pack your beach towel and togs for your holiday, take steps to protect your home from the burglars that may be lurking around your unoccupied home while you are away on holiday. 

Check all doors and windows

If you open your bathroom window to let the steam out while showering, don’t forget to shut it when you’re finished. As this area of the house is usually out of sight, it is one of the easiest entry points for a burglar.

Double check all your windows are closed and secured before leaving on your holiday and that all your doors are locked. Now is also the time to remove that spare key you have hiding, it’s just asking for trouble. If the door is locked, many burglars will check the most common places homeowners hide the key.

Don’t let newspapers and mail pile up

Full and overflowing letterboxes are a big sign that you are not home, and depending on mail in your letterbox with postal dates, they can even tell how long you have been away on holiday for.

If you receive the local newspaper, give them a ring and put it on hold while on holiday. Ask a neighbour or friend to collect the mail for you daily or every second day. Perhaps you can keep the newspaper coming and they can read it if they aren’t currently subscribed. Could be a nice little thank you to them for helping you out.

Lawns and gardens

I read an article by professional thief Michael Shayne Durden, who performed hundreds of burglaries over a period of 20 years. It says that one of the things he looked for when casing homes was overgrown lawns.

If you live in an area with well-maintained homes and gardens, an overgrown lawn will stand out. Keeping an eye on that for a few days without it being mown is a sure sign you’re not home.

The same goes with the gardens out the front on display. If you have a gardener, get them to give the place a tidy up a day or so after you have left for your holiday.

Leaving a light on isn’t enough

Leaving an outside light on and having the windows or curtains shut is a walking advertisement that you’re away. Keep them open and keep a couple of lights on in the house, think about the main areas like the lounge and the kitchen. You want to make the home look lived in.

Other ways to deter burglaries

Think about parking a car in the driveway while you are on holiday. This coupled with the curtains open and the lights on will make it looks like someone is in the house. If you’re leaving a car at the airport ask a neighbour to leave theirs in your driveway for you. Or consider asking for a ride to the airport or taking a taxi, saves on airport parking and might be cheaper in the long run.

Homes with security systems are much less likely to be broken into. It’s not worth the risk. If you have a security system make sure you have stickers or a notice up somewhere stating which one you have in place. If your home is monitored by a company, brilliant, add that to it also.

Hide your valuables

The most commonly stolen items from a home include:

  • Cash
  • Prescription drugs
  • Jewellery
  • Electronics (TVs, gaming consoles, computers, iPads and smartphones

Don’t hide these in a draw in the house as that’s exactly where you would expect to hide them. Keep them out of the bedroom draws and wardrobes especially. Get creative. Put your jewellery in your garage in the tool box, or in the roof space in a box marked ‘baby things’.

If you have a home office or computer room think about what’s in there too. Bank statements with easy access or your cheque book somewhere obvious. You might have some passwords written down and put into a file. If you can, lock it up or put them in the computer saved in a file not named ‘passwords’, have it password protected so no one can turn it on and use it.

Before leaving on holiday, do a tour around your home, ensuring that doors and windows are locked and that valuables are hidden away.

Now, go have some fun and make the most of your holiday!

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Brent Palmer – Professional Real Estate Consultant

About the Author: The above article on Keep your home safe while on holiday was written and provided by Brent Palmer, a local leader in the field of Richmond and Nelson Real Estate sales, marketing, advanced technology for home selling, and social media. You can contact Brent Palmer here, or at 027 544 9921.

He has helped many people buy and sell homes in the Nelson, Stoke and Richmond areas for years, and would love the opportunity to help you as well.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a real passion for helping people sell their homes in our Nelson and Tasman Region, as well as the marketing, social media & advanced technology for home selling that goes along with it. I’d love to have the opportunity to sit down with you discuss how we can work together to get you the best price.

I help people buy and sell real estate in the following Nelson and Tasman  towns  & neighbourhoods: Wakefield, Brightwater, Hope, Appleby, Redwood Valley, Mapua, Stoke, Tahunanui, Atawhai and of course, Richmond and Nelson City. Connect with Brent on Facebook and pretty much everywhere else.

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