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The Boundary Blog

Home Security For Your Holiday: What To Do When You Leave Your Home Alone

It’s been a long old while since we’ve all jumped on a plane and jetted off to sunnier climbs. If you have plans for a getaway this summer, here are some tips to help prevent any local burglars planning a getaway of their own with your belongings.

As experts in smart security systems, we know a thing or two about how to best secure your home this summer.

14 Top Home Security Tips When Away On Holiday

1. Avoid leaving your house looking unoccupied

We’ll begin with the most obvious item on this list — do not make it evident that you have an empty house. Ideally, you’ll have a trustworthy neighbour visit your home regularly to feed your pet, for example. If burglars are prowling your area, they will be on the lookout for signs of an empty residence.

Learn how keyholder calling works.

If you have a two-car household, or maybe even more, ensure that you leave a vehicle parked in your driveway while you are gone. If you cannot leave your car at home, perhaps you could arrange for a neighbour or friend to use your driveway while you are gone. Having another vehicle outside your house creates the illusion that it is occupied.

You can even use your smart home devices to help. Maybe set your lights on a timer, or make your speakers come on at particular times. Obviously, you don’t want to make it too rigid as the burglars may wise up, but you should use everything in your arsenal to keep up the illusion.

2. Join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme

Register your home with the neighbourhood watch scheme in your area. This scheme is a collection of members, often on the same road or in the same area, managed by a coordinator who keeps members informed about local concerns.

3. Make sure your tools and ladders are locked up

If a burglar cannot enter your home, they will attempt the garage, or your garden shed. Keep expensive equipment out of your shed. Sheds should only be used for low-value tools or equipment that will not cost you a fortune to replace if stolen. Always store tools in a secure garage and avoid leaving them outdoors overnight.

If you must store tools in a shed, ensure that the first line of defence is heavy-duty locks. A conspicuous lock may be a very effective deterrent and can avoid break-ins. It’s a good idea to conceal any windows to prevent an intruder from seeing what’s inside and if required, secure them.

Chains and padlocks may hold heavy things together or make permanent fixtures in your shed, making it more difficult for someone to steal your possessions.

4. Invest in a smart security system

‘Upgrade your home security’ may seem like the obvious thing to say. But, upgrading to a smart alarm is one of the simplest things you can do to keep an eye on your home while you’re away.

smart alarm system, like Boundary, can offer a variety of different solutions to help you keep on top of your holiday home security. Get notifications to the Boundary app on your phone if the alarm is triggered, or subscribe to professional monitoring with police response alarm to ensure the police will be called out, even if you can’t respond because you’re on a plane, or asleep in a different timezone.

Smart alarms can sync up with your smart home systems to offer you a number of monitoring and security features. You can even change your keyholders remotely in the app.

5. Leave your curtains open

Choosing whether to keep curtains open or closed is a never-ending dilemma. Keeping them closed throughout the day creates the illusion that no one is home, so it is better to keep them open. Give your neighbour a spare key and arrange for them to be closed in the evenings with a neighbour, and invest in smart indoor lights you can control from an app or use plug-in timer switches.

6. Get the appropriate home insurance cover

Check that your house insurance is current and valid well in advance of departing on your holiday. If anything happens while you are gone, you’ll want to be able to contact your insurer to help you resolve any issues upon your return.

While most insurance companies do not need notification if you are going on a short trip, you should notify them if you will be leaving your house unattended for long periods. This may change the conditions of your policy, and instead, you may choose to opt for an Unoccupied Home Insurance policy for the time you will be away. This insurance can protect you from vandalism, a break-in, flood and fire damage.

7. Ensure your valuables are kept safe

Leaving your curtains open during the day will deter thieves, however, avoid leaving any valuables in sight. Spread your valuables around your home; avoid keeping all of your expensive jewellery in your dresser drawer, an obvious hiding area for thieves.

Consider leaving some inexpensive jewellery or cash in a visible location so that if the worst happens, the burglars will take it and go.

Nowadays, breaking into households to get the keys to expensive cars is prevalent. If you are parking your vehicle in the driveway while you are gone, consider leaving the keys with a friend or neighbour.

8. Cancel any regular deliveries

A half-dozen newspapers on your front step or an overflowing mailbox are a clear sign that no one is home. While you’re gone, cancel your mail and newspaper deliveries, and ask a neighbour to put out your rubbish or recycling bins on bins collection day (and don’t forget to ask them to bring the bin in again!).

9. Clean up your garden

Avoid giving adequate cover for burglars attempting break-ins with your home landscaping. Burglars may conceal themselves in the dark, shady hiding locations provided by tall trees or heavy undergrowth. Keep shrubs and hedges in your front yard trimmed low, particularly near windows and entryways, especially near the front door, where criminals may sit before breaking in.

10. Install security lights

Burglars are often on the lookout for homes that lack evident security. Investing in smart security lighting is an effective deterrent. Most break-ins occur at night when thieves spend time infiltrating your home while concealed by darkness. Invest in motion-activated outside sensor lights that automatically turn on when someone approaches your entrance. They are also an effective deterrent for criminals, who often dislike being bathed in light while attempting to pick your lock or enter your house.

If I leave a light on, will it deter burglars?

Maintaining constant lighting is not an effective crime deterrent. With some forethought and home automation devices, you can control the lighting in your home, and feel more reassured your home isn’t in complete darkness the whole time you are away.

11. Avoid telling everyone you going on holiday

Avoid announcing your upcoming holiday plans, be it on social media, to the window cleaner, or the taxi driver who takes you to the airport. It’s always best to be discrete. While going on a holiday is exciting, no one needs to know that your house will be unattended while you are gone. And wait until you return before uploading any holiday photos to social media. It’s a dead giveaway.

12. Ask your neighbours to help out

Notifying your neighbours that you will be away on holiday is a practical way to ensure that someone is watching over your home for you, even if they are doing it unconsciously.

If they know you’re gone and see anything or someone unexpected, they’ll be extra vigilant since they know you’re not there. If they do not already have it, you should leave a contact number with them so that they may contact you if they have any suspicions or issues and want to let you know.

13. Don’t pack your car with your luggage the night before

Don’t be tempted to fill your vehicle with your luggage the night before you leave on holiday. While this may make things easier and faster in the morning, it sends a strong message to anybody passing by that you are leaving and making you an easier target. Worse yet, you run the risk of your vehicle being broken into and your belongings stolen.

14. Make sure everything is locked and secure

Before leaving, double check your entire home security system, including locks. Maintain a foolproof home security checklist to ensure your family’s safety. Check to see that your windows are locked and secure and your back door, front door and the doorways within your house. Burglars will be unable to look into adjacent rooms due to this. If you’re using a smart security device, ensure your router remains turned on. Unplug any appliances or devices that aren’t absolutely necessary.

What attracts burglars to homes?

Criminals are more attracted to houses without a dog, security sensors, cameras, and other security devices. Doors and windows left open or unlocked, garage doors, and pet doors are all possible ways in.

Check out these home security tips from a burglar, to give you an idea of what goes through their minds.

Unlock smart security with Boundary

Protect your home while you’re away with smart security from Boundary. Our wireless security system comes packed with smart features to help protect your home wherever you are. Get notifications from the app, assign keyholders and sync up your security with smart home devices.

You can even assign pet-friendly areas and get guaranteed police response. Check out our pay monthly alarm plans for more information and visit our alarm security shop or even design your own alarm system.