How to protect your home when you travel

After a long flight home from China, I was keen to get home and fall asleep in my own bed. 

But when I pulled up in the driveway, I noticed water gushing around our house and down into the street. We had, accidentally left an external tap on. It was connected to a spray hose and the water pressure had built up causing a split. That next water bill was a whopper. 

It made me think – it would be good to have a checklist of things to check before you leave. They may seem obvious, but many are actually easy to forget. 

Here’s my top tips for keeping your home safe when you holiday. If you have more – head on over to our Facebook page and let us know. 

Don’t advertise your holiday
It’s tempting to write about your holiday on social media and to post photos and details of your trip – but don’t. At least not to everyone. Many a person has been robbed after thieves were alerted to their absence on social media.

Yes, the view is lovely - but you have just told everyone that you are not at home.

If you want to share – create a safe group of close relatives and friends using Facebook Messenger or What’s App or hold onto your excitement until you get home.

Turn off all outdoor taps
Yes, this is the one I forgot. Check that all the external taps are turned off, particularly those with spray hose attachments. The build up of pressure after a few weeks can cause leaks that will cost you a lot of money.

This will cost a lot over the course of your holiday.

Have someone collect your mail
Mail piling up in the mailbox is a sure sign that no-one is at home. Either put a stop on your mail at Australia Post or ask a friend to collect and hold it for you.

Alert your neighbours
Ask a few neighbours you trust to watch over the house while you are away. It will make them more alert to suspicious activity and they will be ready to help in case of an emergency such as a water pipe breaking outside.

Unlug your devices before you go. It will reduce the chances of a fire and slash your electricity bill. Only leave essentials such as the fridge and freezer running.

Make sure all your locks are secure.

Lock up
Walk around your house and ensure all the doors and windows are secure. Ensure you put away any valuables inside the house into a secure spot or a locked safe.

Consider security
If you are going away for a long time, it’s worth investing in security for your home. An easy option, is a camera and intercom doorbell such as those made by Ring. These devices link to your mobile phone so you can talk to a package delivery person via the internet. Many also automatically record so any suspicious activity can be sent straight to the police. 

Make it look like you are home
Consider using a timer for your lights so a few go on at regular times. That way it looks like someone is home.