Summer is here and everyone is looking forward to a break. If you’re heading away on holiday, follow these handy home security tips so you can relax, knowing that your home is safe and sound.
Let your neighbours know when you’ll be away and ask them to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.
- Give them your contact number, or a number for a friend or relative if you’re going to be somewhere out of range.
- Ask them to collect your mail and bring in your bins if you’re leaving them out when you go.
- Don’t risk hiding a spare key on your property. Leave it with a neighbour or friend in case of emergency, along with instructions for your house alarm if you have one.
Keep up appearances
Nothing says ‘empty house’ like an overflowing mailbox and untidy garden.
- If you’re away for an extended period, ask NZ Post to hold your mail. Mail holds don’t apply to courier items however, so have a friend stop by to collect any parcels if you’re expecting deliveries.
- Put a hold on newspaper subscriptions and consider adding a sticker to your letterbox to stop unsolicited mail building up.
- Organise someone to pop round every now and again to mow the lawn, water the plants and tend to any tell-tale signs that you’re away.
- If you’re leaving a car behind, park it in the driveway rather than in the garage or on the street.
- It’s generally recommended to leave your curtains open and any blinds up.
Locks, lights and cameras
Make sure you can secure your property effectively when you’re away.
- The week before you leave, check that all the door locks and window catches around your property are working, especially those you may not use regularly. (You don’t want everyone packed up and waiting to go when you discover a broken lock!)
- Put away any ladders or tools that could be used to break in and lock any garden sheds or storage units.
- Make sure any outside sensor lights are working as these are an excellent initial deterrent for any would-be intruders.
- If you have a smart home, you can schedule lights to come on each evening, or connect plug-in digital timers (available from hardware stores) to a couple of lamps and set them to turn on and off while you’re away.
- Consider installing security cameras. There are several brands available from home appliance stores that you can install easily yourself and monitor via your smartphone.
Don’t make it tempting or easy for thieves.
- Hide any gaming consoles, laptops, Bluetooth speakers or other electronic devices.
- Secure passports and other valuables in a safe, or in a lockable box that is well hidden.
Switch it off
Minimise the risk of electrical fires and reduce energy use while you’re away.
- Turn off as many appliances at the wall as you can, such as heated towel rails, printers, coffee machine, gaming consoles etc.
- If you have a land line, turn the volume right down, redirect calls to your mobile or change the answerphone to pick up immediately so you don’t have a phone ringing unanswered in an empty house.
Clean out your fridge
Reduce what’s in your fridge and freezer to ensure minimal loss in case of a power cut.
Keep it offline
Try to avoid advertising your travel plans on social media, especially if you have a wide network of connections you don’t know well. It pays to explain this to any children with social media accounts too, as word can spread quickly among extended friendship groups.
Smart and safe
Whether you have a fully automated smart home or even Bluetooth-enabled switchgear, the range of smart home technology from PDL makes it easy to keep your home safe and secure, wherever you are. You can schedule lights, music or even your television to switch on and off, control your blinds and monitor security cameras and sensor lights with notifications of any activity. It’s the simple way to keep an eye on your home whenever and wherever you need to.
Best wishes for a safe, relaxing and enjoyable holiday from the team at PDL by Schneider Electric.