Protecting your home when on holiday: top tips

by Krantcents · 20 comments

Post image for Protecting your home when on holiday: top tips

Whatever kind of neighborhood you live in, you will want to protect your home while you are away from it. Should you be embarking on a big holiday in the coming weeks and months and you find yourself away from the house for two weeks or more, there are a number of things you can do to ensure that things are exactly the same as you left them when you get back from your jollies.

You must remember that if you have a policy of Castle Cover house insurance or an alternative from another company, this will cover a home while it is unoccupied. However, all of these policies will have restrictions if the home is unoccupied for longer than a specified period of time. This threshold is around 30 days, though it varies between policies. Make sure you sit down to review your contract prior to leaving to make sure you can claim should something go awry.

Nonetheless, there are plenty of other things you can do to protect your home from problems while you are having fun either in or out of the country. With these other short, sharp tips, you’ll avoid the major pitfalls that people often fall into.

Firstly, leave a key with a friend, neighbor or relative so they can check in on your home. It also means they can water the plants and even look after a pet in your absence. While it’s quite wasteful to leave lights on at all times, it’s worth investing in timer switches to put the lights on at different times while you’re gone.

It’s an obvious point to make, but it’s still important: all doors and windows must be closed and locked, then double-checked before you go. If you can also lower the volume on your telephone, do that too – an unanswered phone is always a good sign that a house is unoccupied.

Valuables should always be hidden in a box in the loft, among old clothes or even under a bed. This means that if smash-and-grab burglars make a bid to steal things in a short space of time, they will overlook the real riches.

Finally, cancel any newspapers and milk if they are delivered to your door; these are practically a beacon marking out an unmanned house. By testing all security systems are working and operational before you leave, you’ll also give yourself that extra line of defense.

In addition to these tips Herts Police has put together some great crime prevention advice that you might find helpful. Don’t leave anything to chance – think about things carefully and you’ll have a comfortable and relaxing holiday that you deserve.

Photo by:  Sean MacEntee


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Dolores Matura Voglesonger January 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

When we lived in Phoenix a few years ago, there was a program where you could alert the local PD that you were going to be away and they would do periodic drive-by’s to make sure there was no funky activity at your house.  It was an online submission form, and you entered info about any lights on timers, folks stopping by to care for pets, etc. Pretty cool – wish more areas offered this service!

krantcents January 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm

That sounds like something I might see in a small town! Phoenix is hardly that small. We usually rely on neighbors or have a house sitter, but no everyone can do that.

World of Finance January 28, 2012 at 7:10 pm

You never know what can happen while you are away.  A friend recently told me that there were 3 break-ins in her neighborhood just the other day.  This was during the day while people were at work.  It’s hard telling what can happen.  I think her insurance policy was her large dog :)  Of course, you can’t leave a dog along in a house for a long period of time while you are on vacation.

krantcents January 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm

A big loud barking dog is a good defense for homes, however you need someone to feed and walk the dog. An alarm may be a simpler solution!

Jon January 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm

My future brother-in-law also keeps a webcam up to monitor activity.  He did it in FL when they were on vacation.  He could check it via the internet at anytime.  Having your family come by — if you can — is also a good idea.  Don’t post it on FB though, people are really lacking common sense who do that!

krantcents January 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm

Although the webcam would capture a photo, it does not call the police or security company. Just recently, I saw on the news someone took a dog from a store. I suppose a good picture will help you catch him/her, but does little to prevent the burglary..

MyMoneyDesign January 29, 2012 at 12:40 pm

Good tips.  We always let our trusted neighbor know when we go on vacation.  My other favorite preventative measure – no posting on Facebook that we are going on vacation!

krantcents January 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

We usually have a house sitter, but not everyone can do that.

Darwin's Money January 29, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Not really related to safety specifically, but to save money (and stay organized), I go and set reminders in google calendar in advance before all planned vacations to lower/raise the thermostat the morning we leave.  We probably save like $50 during a weeklong vacation by having the house much warmer than normal in summer or cooler than normal in winter.

krantcents January 30, 2012 at 6:34 am

Good points! There are a variety of things to do when you go on vacation, adjusting the thermostat is one of them.

Roshawn @ Watson Inc January 30, 2012 at 9:40 am

Great tips. I should heed to this advice more often. I do think it is important to make sure that your property is protected. Sometimes it is easy to take the fact that things have gone well for granted.  Thanks for mentioning Castle Cover. That’s helpful insurance to know about!

krantcents January 30, 2012 at 3:59 pm

We all take some things for granted! Sometimes you need a reminder. :)

Miss T January 30, 2012 at 10:44 am

We were just working on prepping for our trip next month and we have done many of these things. We actually keep a list that we reference each time we go away. Helps us not to forget to do anything. 

One other thing we have found good is to suspend your services like cable, internet etc. It helps save a bit of money. 

krantcents January 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I always suspend the paper, but I never thought of suspending the cable. Probably because I usually have a house sitter to take care of the dog. Good points!

Krantcents February 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

Thanks fo rthe inclusion, I really appreciate it.

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