You're already hours from your house when the doubting begins: did you leave the oven turned on? Did you remember to lock the back door? It’s only natural; our homes are our castles, and we want to make sure they’re protected when we're away. If you’re wondering how to protect your house on your next holiday, here are our vital tips to transform your humble home into a secure fortress.
How to protect your house when you’re away
Take out home contents insurance
From burglary to burst pipes, anything can happen when you’re away. Insuring your home's contents is a fool-proof means of avoiding any potential costs upon your return, whether there's been a building fire or water damage.
Install a home security system
If you’ve been considering how to protect your house, you’ve probably already thought about installing a home security system. According to the National Council for Home Safety and Security, properties without alarms are three times more likely to be targeted by thieves. Therefore, not only do these mechanisms help catch intruders in the act, they also work as deterrents.
Arrange for a home sitter
As well as camera lenses looking out for your property, it helps to have a good pair of eyes checking in on your home whilst you are away. Notify a trusted neighbour before you leave and ask them to visit your house every now and then to make sure everything is as it should be. For an extra level of vigilance, hire a pet or house sitter from an agency to occupy your home or visit each day to pick up mail and water the plants.
Purchase smart security devices
Today, one of the best ways to secure your home is with smart devices. Monitoring systems like Canary or LiveWatch combine touchscreen panels with smartphone apps to monitor your home from a distance. You can also outfit your property with motion detectors and smart sensor systems like Ooma, which notify you if windows or doors are open.
Set lights on an automatic timer
When advising how to protect your house, experts recommend making it look occupied in your absence. This includes turning both outdoor and indoor lights on an automatic schedule, so that they're periodically illuminated when you’re away. Secure your home with the next generation of light bulbs, like Philips Hue, which can be turned on remotely with a smartphone app.
Keep the lawn maintained
If you're away from home for longer than two weeks, maintaining the ruse that you're still at home needs to also extend to your garden. Unruly hedges and lawns are one of the first external signs of a home being empty, so make sure you employ someone to keep your outdoor area landscaped and manicured.
Avoid social media
It’s tempting to share photos of your getaway on Instagram or Facebook, but try to avoid this urge until you’ve returned. Professional crime rings look for information online indicating that a house will be empty.
Must-haves in a new home include security features like smart alarm systems and remotely-controlled lights. With a combination of common sense and these high-tech tools, you can return to a home that’s fully intact.