How safe is your home while you're on holiday? | About Leitrim

How safe is your home while you’re on holiday?

We’ve probably all heard the horror stories about people’s houses being burgled while they are away on holiday or even just out for a while. The issue has also taken a new twist in recent years with people sharing their locations, holiday snaps and travel intentions on the various social media site such as Facebook and Twitter. Doing that can be an open invitation to burglars who might live close and happen to know where you live to come and do as they please in your home. A recent survey concluded that 14% of Irish holiday goers check in to the airport on social media while travelling with a further 42% telling everyone they know that they’re going away!

Many people prepare for impending holidays by organising everything in the house down to the nth degree, stuff like organising bin collections, fridge contents, idle electricity usage, etc.. but very few think of any possible security issues apart from locking windows and doors but that’s very little impediment to a seasoned and determined burglar who knows your house is empty.

So enough of the scary stuff! What simple steps can you take to improve the security of your home while away? Well some of the more conscientious travellers are already taking excellent precautions. 62% say they ask their neighbours to keep an eye on the house. 50% leave a spare key for friends and/or family. 30% leave a light on in the house. 23% ask a neighbour to park a car on their driveway and 73% store their most valued possessions in a safe place while away.

Some more modern tips for protecting your house while away include; Try to find a house sitter. It’s big business these days and there’s even websites allowing people travelling (usually young travellers/students etc..) to connect with home owners to look after their house and pets etc.. while they’re away. I’ve also seen professional house sitting services available including a local one here in Leitrim run by an ex Garda. Invest in a timer that controls your house lights, ideally one or two in different rooms. This will give the impression that the house is occupied and beats simply leaving lights on constantly which may not fool anyone. You can also now buy remote controllable light bulbs such as LIFX and Philips Hue which you can turn on and off remotely via a phone app or web site. You could also consider installing an IP CCTV system which you can monitor via the internet. They have become very affordable in recent years but if that’s still not in your budget maybe an inexpensive fake CCTV camera will do! Of course, having a house alarm and in particular something like a PhoneWatch system is still an obvious solution too!

And don’t forget to check your house insurance is up to date in case you still get unlucky!

This post is in collaboration with Chill Insurance.

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