As you prepare to go away for the holidays or even if you’re planning a no-fuss staycation, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions to protect your home. With so many homes standing empty and people generally being much more relaxed over the festive season, thieves often take the opportunity to redistribute items that don’t belong to them.
We unpack 3 areas in which you can take action to make sure that your home is not an easy target.
Eliminate indications that your house is not occupied
- Enlist a family member or friend to go to your house to collect the mail, take out the bins on collection day, open/close curtains, etc. The idea is to keep the usual daily/weekly routines going as if you are still there.
- Keep your maintenance services going as per usual, e.g. garden, pool, etc.
- Stop deliveries such as newspapers and online shopping (not necessary if you have #1 in place).
- Put lighting in your home on a timer so that it switches on in the evenings.
- Instead of #1 you could find a house sitter to look after your home, which is a great option if you have pets and plants that need extra special care.
- Something you may overlook is limiting what you post on social media. We often share too much information which could expose you and your home to unnecessary risk.
Implement additional security measures
- Install a home security system or service/upgrade your existing system. Make sure you test the system before you leave. If you decide to install security cameras, there may be an option to view the live feeds on your mobile phone from wherever you have a good internet connection.
- Don’t hide a key to your home as this is just as accessible to thieves as it would be for family or friends. You could install a lock box that opens with a combination which you can share with only those who need access while you are away. It’s a good idea to change the combination regularly (as you would your passwords).
- Use a hidden safe to lock up valuables or store them offsite in a safety deposit box.
- Install a motion sensor flood light that will illuminate your home for all to see. It’s more difficult to steal if everyone can see what you are doing.
- Unhook your garage door so that it can only be opened manually with a key, as remotes can easily be hacked.
- Display signage that you have a security system installed. It may not stop every thief, but it doesn’t hurt to let them know that you’re not going to make it easy for them.
Involve the community in your area
- It’s unlikely that every single household in your neighbourhood will be away at the same time. You may already have a neighbourhood watch in place, but it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbours so that you can keep a lookout for one another.
- Leave your emergency numbers with your neighbours and also circulate the general emergency numbers to everyone in your community, e.g. police, fire station, pet shelter, etc. Not only will this provide another layer of protection while you are away, it will also promote a safer and closer community as a whole.
Before you go away, we can help to reassess your insurance cover to make sure you have a policy that’s customised to protect what you’ve worked so hard for. You can go on holiday with peace of mind, knowing that you are covered! As much as we love to hear from you, we hope it will not be in the middle of your holidays.
So, until 2020, Happy Holidays from our family to yours.
Wishing you a safe and enjoyable festive season with all the special people in your life.
Thank you for your support and for trusting us with your business.
Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.