Whether you’re going away for the holidays or just looking forward to a quick getaway most of us know the basics when it comes to keeping our homes looking lived in and safe. Something as simple as a taxi driver loading suitcases into the car or a casual message on a social network site can be enough to tip an observant burglar off that your home is going to be empty. Here a five simple tips to keep your property as safe as possible next time you’re going away.
Don’t leave a spare lying around
Most of us leave a spare key somewhere on the property and some places are more obvious than others. Ideally you shouldn’t be leaving any spare keys lying around by if you’re leaving them under the door mat or that plant pot next to the door you might as well just leave your front door wide open. If you’re really that paranoid about losing your own key and there’s no one you can leave them with find somewhere really obscure in the back garden like nailing it to a high hidden tree branch or burying it in a random spot.
Hide the mail
One of the biggest tell tale signals someone’s away is an accumulation of mail on the other side of the door. If you don’t have someone coming in to check on your house then you need to make sure this build up isn’t visible. If you have a frosted glass door place a piece of board or wall paper in the glass so people can’t see in and this will help hide any post on display. Make sure your letter box has a draft excluder so no one can see into your home when they lift the flap.
Lock the garden up
You might not think anyone wants to steal your flower pots but there’s a good chance you’ve got much more valuable items in your garden. Things like lawn mowers and garden tools are easy targets as they’re often shut away in a flimsy shed with a simple lock. Take anything of value and lock it in the house. You’re also going to want to make sure you don’t have any ladders in easy reach, if anyone is sneaking into your garden with ladder they’re going to be much more noticeable than someone sneaking in to use your own ladders.
If you live in a residential area with drives or other off road parking consider asking one of your neighbours if they’d mind parking in your drive for a couple of nights. Anyone watching your home will notice if a car is coming and going from the property on a regular basis but they probably won’t go to the effort of checking if it’s a neighbour’s car. If you have on street parking this won’t be such a problem but you might still want to ask your neighbours if they mind pulling into your space if you usually have an unwritten understanding.
A lot of people leave lights plugged into timers to make sure the lights look natural when they’re coming on and going off but you can take this a step further. Plug the radio or even the TV into these too to make sure you’ve got noise coming from your home intermittently. This might take a bit more energy but it’s still going to be a fraction of the cost of your usual usage and it’s going to that extra step to keep your home looked habited.