Is home security on your holiday checklist?
We all worry about the safety of our homes while on holiday, but how many of us take the necessary steps to improve home security prior to jetting off to sunnier climes? In a survey conducted during peak holiday season, we discovered that the majority of holidaymakers experience high levels of anxiety while away from home, yet fail to increase security to reduce the risk. Indeed, 75% of people worry to such an extent about their home and contents, they often ask friends and family to check on their properties while away.
However, regardless of this widespread anxiety, many holidaymakers do very little to personally monitor or secure their properties. Only 17% of respondents had additional security measures in place, beyond a standard home alarm and basic locks fitted. This is despite figures being released by the ONS recently that stated that homes with no, or less than, basic security measures in place are significantly more likely to experience a burglary, compared with those that have additional security systems.
With this in mind, it’s important that holidaymakers take responsibility for their homes and demonstrate a proactive approach to security.
So, what are the main security issues to consider when planning a trip away? We’ve put together a list of our top five tips for ensuring your home stays safe while you’re on holiday:
1) Avoid sharing your holiday plans on social networking sites
Although it’s tempting to share your excitement about a holiday, it can draw attention to the fact that your home is going to be empty for a period of time. Save sharing your photos until your back, and if you can’t resist sharing where you are, don’t allude to your actual time scales.
2) Create an illusion of occupancy
Take advantage of some of the Smart Home gadgets available on the high street to switch lights / appliances on and off at certain times. We like the BELKIN WeMo Switch, which uses your existing home Wi-Fi network to provide wireless control of TVs, lamps, stereos and more.
3) Make sure all windows and doors are locked before you leave the house
It may sound like an obvious precaution, but it’s one which often gets overlooked. Ensure that all external doors (including doors to the garden or shed) are firmly locked. Shut and lock all windows, downstairs and upstairs, and avoid leaving any keys in easy view / reach.
4) Invest in home surveillance technology
Most security cameras offer real-time camera feeds straight to your smartphone or personal computer. There are many products available on today’s market, so take the time to look into the options available. We recommend our HomeMonitor HD which streams 720p HD quality video footage straight to a smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac to make it one of the most accessible security systems on the market. More importantly, it comes with seven days cloud recording, free of charge.
5) Install a “smart alarm” system
These can can be remotely activated or deactivated and will notify you via text message if an intruder is detected on the property. Products such as the Watchguard SMS use PIR detectors to sense the body movement of an intruder and reed switches to detect when doors / windows are opened. Suspicious activity will be reported by text message to nominated mobile phones, and trigger a siren to repel the intruder.
What are your top tips to protect your home when you are away?