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Getting ready for a big trip can be a stressful, busy, and exciting all at once. It can be easy to forget about all that time your house will sit dormant, and the opportunity it might create for thieves or vandals. Having a home to come back to is important, and keeping in the same condition is essential too. Here are 10 things you should do to make sure your home is protected while you travel.

1. Locks and Bolts

It’s obvious, but locking your house is important. Make sure every door and window is securely bolted, including on any sheds and garages. If your house doesn’t have adequate door locks and deadbolts, call a locksmith to install some for you.

2. Keep Your House Visible

Consider asking a friend, neighbour, or family member to keep your yard trim while you’re away, or use a gardening service. Keeping the lawns mown and plants trimmed will make your house look lived in, and make it harder for thieves to sneak around.

3. Put Your Mail on Hold

If you’ll be away for more than a few days mail will start to pile up, making it obvious no one is home. The simplest solution is to contact Australia Post and have them hold all mail for you until your return. Alternatively, you can ask a neighbour to collect it for you.

4. Sensor Lights and Alarms

Install sensor lights and a security system on your property, if you don’t have them already. Both will act as powerful deterrents to criminals – just make sure there are visible signs of the alarm system. Sometimes a visual clue is more important than the system itself.

5. Neighborhood Watch

Tell the people in your neighbourhood you’re going away and ask if they could keep an eye on your home. Ideally, leave a key with a trusted neighbour so they can put any packages or leaflets inside and tidy a little each week.

6. Night Lights

Having the lights come on in the evening and go off late at night will make your house seem more lived in. This can be done easily with timers. Consider also asking a neighbour or friend to put your bins out and take them in each week.

7. Be Cautious with Social Media

Obviously you are going to want to post about your trip on social media, but be careful about mentioning how long you’ll be away. It sounds paranoid, but you never know who’s watching online. Also consider adjusting privacy settings on sites like Facebook when posting about travel.

8. Unplug

Turn off electronic devices that could compromise your property’s security. Electronic garage doors might be opened by a universal remote, while a GPS left in your car at the airport might alert tech-savvy thieves to your absence and even lead them to your home.

9. Move Valuables Away from Windows

Don’t tempt intruders with a Ming vase or 60-inch TV screen visible through a window; check that such valuables can’t be seen from outside.

10.Keep Your House Occupied

The best way to make your house seem occupied is for someone to actually be there. If a friend or relative is willing to house sit for you, this can greatly improve your home’s security – and if you have pets it will save you putting them in a kennel.

If you need help securing your house before you travel call United Locksmiths on 1800 539 636 or enquire online.