I don’t know about you, but most days I get halfway through my morning commute and suddenly panic that I haven’t locked the door at home. Or turned off the heater. And did I use the iron this morning?
Even worse is when I get that same pang of did-I-secure-my-house anxiety when I’m cruising at an altitude of 40,000 feet, on my way to a 2-week holiday far away from my potentially neglected, home-sweet-home.
Preparing your home before you go on holiday will not only reduce the risk of a break-in, it’ll help you wind down, relax and actually enjoy your well-earned break from the daily grind.
Lock it down. Now.
Don’t leave the most important aspect of your home security to the last few seconds before departing for the airport. Yes, you can’t lock your front door until you’re physically outside it with your luggage and loved ones, but what about all the other entry points to your home? Are all the windows locked? Heck, are they even closed?
The easy way to avoid having these thoughts rush through your brain while you make your way through customs is to secure all entry points to your home the day before you leave. Make a list of all entry points and make sure you tick off each item as you secure it. Better yet, use a list app on your phone (or a pen and paper will do the trick too). That way when you start to panic at the airport, you can just whip out your phone and confirm that you’ve battened down the hatches.
Let there be light! Both inside and out.
I’m not afraid of the dark. Honest. But I am afraid of what hides in the dark. Like a thief that can happily scope out my home without being disturbed thanks to the blanket of a dark moonless night. An easy fix for this is to install an outdoor spotlight that activates when motion is detected.
But don’t stop there. Install some timers around your house to turn lights on and off at set times. To passers-by, this gives the welcome illusion that someone is at home. If you’re really committed, you can also set a timer for your television or radio. Or go all out and rig up some mannequins to dance around your living room, Home Alone style. Just need someone to stay home and pull the strings…
You've got mail. And lots of it.
Nothing say’s “I’m sunbaking in Hawaii” like a mailbox that’s overflowing with unread mail. If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, ask a friend, family member or trusted mailman to empty your mailbox regularly for you. If all of the above are heading away on holiday as well, why not arrange to have Australia Post hold your mail for the duration of your trip.
We hope these three basic and practical tips help to simplify your pre-Christmas security to-do list. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I better pop home and make sure I turned that iron off after all…