As the holiday season approaches we’re all looking forward to recharging the batteries and spending some time with our loved ones. To ensure you can make the best of this time, it is important to remember to make sure your home is safe and secure. Here are a few tips from NZ Police, the AA and us to help you do just that.
Make your home smarter
A smarter home is a safer home. Depending on the solutions that you choose, smart home technology offered by PDL allows you to programme lights to switch on and off, control your blinds and even can switch appliances such as a radio on and off. Installing security cameras and sensors that will notify you when they are triggered is also a great idea as it will help you keep an eye on your home from where ever you are.
Turn off all appliances
To minimise the risk of electrical fires, remember to turn off all appliances at the wall. Also remember to turn the ring tone on your phone down as unanswered calls can be a dead giveaway that no one is home.
Notify your neighbour
Tell your neighbours if you are planning to go away for the holidays and ask them to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. Remember to give them your contact number, or if you are planning to travel somewhere that can make communication difficult, leave contact details for someone you trust, such as a friend or family member.
Ask a friend to help
Ask a friend to check in on the house every few days to ensure all is well and remember to store any important documents such as insurance policies in a safe place so they can easily access it if you need it.
Lock it up
It goes without saying that it is important to ensure all doors are lock and all windows are closed before you depart. Ensure any outside buildings such as garden sheds are locked and any ladders and tools that can be used to break in are stored away. Now is also the time to ensure any doors that you haven’t used for a while are locked and to replace any locks that don’t work as well as they should. Do not hide spare keys, rather give them to a friend or neighbour. It is also recommended that you leave your blinds up and curtains open.
Keep it offline
It is best not to post about your travel plans on social media, especially if you have a wide network of connections you don’t know well. Do not check in at the airport and wait until you are back home before posting photos of your holiday.
Keep the garden tidy
If you are planning on being away for an extended period ensure that someone pops around every now and again to mow the lawn, water the plants and tend to any tell-tale signs that you’re away.
Clean out your fridge
Minimise the amount of food you keep in the fridge or freezer to ensure minimal damage in case of a power cut.
Ask someone to clear your letterbox
Having newspaper subscriptions and letters pile up can be a dead giveaway that you are not home. Ask your neighbour or a friend to collect your mail, cancel any newspapers subscriptions, or ask NZ Post to hold your mail while you are away. To avoid getting too much junk mail consider getting a sticker to stick on your mailbox to prevent unsolicited mail.
Click here for more information on solutions for a wiser home.