As December draws closer, many families are preparing to go on vacation. In the northern hemisphere you’ll be looking for a cosy winter Christmas break, and in the south a summer beach vacation. Leaving your home unattended can be stressful, but here are 5 great ways to keep your home safe while you’re away.

For most of us, being on vacation means more time spent relaxing with family and friends, but for criminals, this period brings about an opportunity to break into a vacant home. Fortunately there are a number of precautions you can take to make sure that your home isn’t an easy target and that your home and belongings are kept safe while you’re away.

Create the Illusion of Activity

Modern technology is a great tool to make it look like you’re home and keep an eye on your home when you’re not around. It’s a great idea to install timers on some of your lights in and around your home to make it look like someone is home when you’re not. 

You can even get smart light bulbs such as the Philips Hue range which connect to your home’s WiFi and feature timers and the ability to turn them on and off from your mobile phone where you are in the world! What’s even better is that you can give them a time range to come on and they’ll randomly switch on during this range so that they’re not switching on and off at exactly the same time every day.

You could even use a smart plug or timer to turn the television on and off at a set time in the evening. Have a look at these Top Devices To Turn Your Ordinary Home Into A Smart Home.

Nothing says we’re not at home like a dark house or lights left on during the day.

Consider Getting a House Sitter

The most effective tip on this list, but also perhaps the most expensive, is to get a house or pet sitter while you’re away. Having someone in your home who can take care of your pets, water your plants and keep an eye on things will give you the most peace of mind while you’re away, and you won’t need to find a home or kennel for your pets.

Put a Hold on Your Mail

If you don’t have a large mailbox or a mail slot in the door, ask your utilities or go to your local post office and put a hold on your mail while you’re away. You could also ask a neighbour or friend to come past and periodically pick it up and check on your home. After all, a huge pile of mail by the door is a clear sign that you’ve been away for a while.

Alert Your Alarm Company, Neighbourhood Watch or Neighbour

Make sure that somebody near your home, and whom you trust, knows that you’re going to be going on vacation and when they can expect you to return. Have you alarm system tested a week or two before you go and make sure that you alert your alarm or security company.

Do A Security Check To Keep Your Home Safe

Before you leave, make sure all of your windows and doors are properly secured. Check on any access routes you’ve left open for your pets and make sure that people can’t use these as easy access to your home as well. Have a quick look for any easy ways to get into your home, is there a bin near a high window, allowing it to be reached? Are there tools lying around your yard or an open shed?  This is great opportunity to think about a few ways you could improve your outdoor lighting for security.

What are some of the tips and tricks you use to keep your home secure while you’re away? Let us know in the comments section below.

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