Whether you’re taking a long-awaited trip to the Maldives or driving along the Great Ocean Road, going away on holiday provides a great opportunity to recharge and take a break from the daily grind. But while sipping on a cocktail far from home, what you don’t want is to stress about the security of your property and precious belongings.
So as well as making sure you have home and contents insurance, it’s important you have your property well prepared before your big trip. And at NRMA, your safety is our priority – so we’ve developed some helpful ideas about what you can do to best prepare your home before packing the car and taking off. After all, a few simple precautions can help eliminate your worries.
1. Make sure you lock up
First things first. Safeguarding your property from the inside out is a necessity when it comes to leaving it unoccupied. It’s important to ensure all the possible entry points to your home are secured and sealed, making it a more than difficult task for potential burglars. Locking everything up the night before can relieve the haste of departing for a trip and reduce the risk of accidently leaving it unsecure. It also doesn’t hurt to do a final sweep of the property before leaving to double check that everything is properly locked.
2. Keep dark areas well lit
In the dark of the night is when most robbers like to get up to no good. Keeping motion sensors on and activating timers to turn lights on and off is a great way to deter criminals from targeting your home.
3. Cancel any regular delivery services
Uncollected mail is clear evidence of an empty house, so a bulging pile of post in the letterbox is the last thing you need. Before going away, cancel any regular delivery services that might clog your letterbox including newspapers, subscription magazines or anything else that gets delivered to your front door. Alternatively, it’s a good idea to get a trusted friend or family member to collect your mail on a regular basis. This will not only prevent thieves from targeting your home, but it will also prevent them from stealing your unattended mail.
4. Unplug your appliances
Unplug all your appliances the night before you leave. This way you save money on your energy bill and protect your electrical equipment from possible power surges.
5. Be crafty with inside activity
It’ll make it look like someone is home if lights are switched on and off at different hours of the night. Using an automated timer for your lamps can give the illusion of an occupied property – just be sure to avoid lightning rooms that can be observed from the outside. Using smart technology, such as Beam, can serve as an added security measure. Connecting your devices and maintaining a secure connection to real-time monitoring, smart technology gives you the ability to control electronics in your home from any location. Some technologies can even control lamps, televisions, cameras, blinds and alarm systems – and all from the simple touch of your mobile phone.
6. Inform a trusted neighbour of your absence
If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, let them know you’re going away and ask them to keep an eye out on your property. You could also leave keys with close family or friends so that they can check up on your house while you’re away and make it look like someone is home from time to time. This way, your trusted friend or family member can contact you if anything was to happen.
7. Get home and contents insurance
A simple way you can feel at ease is making sure you have home and contents insurance. That way you’re protected if the worst-case scenario of a break in or natural disaster was to happen. Double check to ensure your policy is up to date and you have the necessary cover for your belongings.
8. Don’t advertise your trip on social media
Taking a break from everyday life and jet setting away to a foreign location is always exciting. But try to refrain from boasting to the World Wide Web about your absence. Making social media posts about your holiday can be an open invitation for robbers to target your property – so just save those Instagram worthy photos for when you return home.