Walking away to leave your home unoccupied for days and, sometimes weeks at a time, however, can draw unwanted attention from the wrong kind of people.
With the holiday season almost upon us, here are six ways to secure your home in your absence so you can relax and enjoy your time away.
Garden and electrical timers are an invaluable aid to making your home appear occupied when it’s not.
Lighting: Timers on power points for lamps can be set to activate light at various times to give the appearance of activity in your home. Motion sensors on outdoor spot lighting and access ways work to deter unwanted visitors. A Somfy remote or Somfy myLink app can control any lights that have an RTS receiver installed.
Sprinklers: Timers can be set on taps and water garden beds and lawns with drip feeders and sprinklers. This has the two-fold effect of having the household look occupied as well as keeping the garden watered and healthy. A neglected garden may raise awareness of an unoccupied house
Window coverings: Automated window coverings are an ideal way for a home to look like it’s in use. Presets for the opening and closing of blinds as you would use them when you’re in the home give your home a ‘business as usual’ look. The Somfy myLink app allows you to do this with both the ability to program ahead to your preferred settings or use remote access in real time to make any changes
Mail and deliveries
For an extended absence, suspend any regular deliveries of newspapers or circulars and arrange for a neighbour or family member to collect and hold your mail regularly for you. Ensure any online purchases will arrive before you leave or after your return.
Lawns and garden
Rather than suspend any garden or lawn services whilst you’re away, it’s a good idea to leave them in place, as long as you have a good relationship with the service provider and are comfortable with them attending your home in your absence.
Locks and security
Before you go away, do a stock take of all your outdoor areas to check that all locks, gates, windows and sheds are secure. If thieves are watching your property for opportunities, swinging gates, missing padlocks and doors hanging on hinges are an open invitation.
It goes without saying that arrangements need to be made for pets staying at home in your absence and the assumption is that this would just be a short stay away. If your dog is prone to barking when bored or missing you, arrange for a neighbour, friend or family member to walk them and take time for a proper visit, rather than just a quick shake of food into a slow release feeder.
Where possible, it’s best to let your neighbours know when you will be away. This can be as simple as a note under their door or more detail if you have a solid relationship but, forewarned is forearmed – the information may put them on alert for any unexpected movement in or around your home.