Top tips for keeping your home safe when you’re away

Going away on holiday?

Here are our top tips for keeping your home safe whilst you’re away.

#1. Tell no-one

We know that you’re excited about hitting the beach and getting your tan on, and want everyone to know just how great you’ll look when you get back, but you should be careful who you tell.

Knowing that a house is empty for the week is a burglar’s dream, and you could get home to a nasty surprise.

Obviously it’s ok to tell your friends (half the fun of holidays is getting excited about them), but be careful who else you tell, especially if they know your address. You can probably live without the postie / builder / gas engineer / corner shop owner / uber driver knowing how hard you’ve worked on your beach bod, and even though the vast majority are trustworthy, they might be less careful with the fact that your house is empty for the week than you are.

#2. Use your work address on your baggage label

Suitcase packed?

It’s a good idea to use a baggage label in case it gets lost, but pop your work address on there instead of home. In fact, a business card is often the perfect size.

That way anyone who sees your luggage on the way to the plane won’t know where you live, and if you lose it, you’ll probably want it to delivered to work afterwards anyway.

#3. Give someone a spare key

Most people have a friend or neighbour who wouldn’t mind keeping a spare key for them.

Imagine how it would feel if just as you were settling down on the deck chair with a Mohito, you get a call from the flat below saying there is water leaking from your flat.

That’s when you want to be able to call in a big favour!

(Plus you won’t be tempted to do anything silly like leaving a key out under the mat.)

If you’re going away for more than week, why not ask them to pop over, clear up the post and check everything is ok?

You can always return the favour at a later date.

#4. Leave a light on

It’s not the greenest, but we’ll let you off this one.

Try to pick a light that makes it look like you’re sitting a room that can’t be seen from the outside.

#5. Curtains?

Close curtains or blinds which you might usually expect to be closed in the day (eg ones for a window which faces onto a busy street, at ground level)

Else leave them open. It makes it look like someone is living there.

#6. Hide your valuables

Should anyone actually get in, it’s best if you make things as hard for them as possible, so pick those couple of priceless items and hide them away.

We prefer random spots. Our favourites include:

  • At the bottom of the bin (wrapped obviously)
  • In the freezer
  • Inside the vacuum cleaner
  • In the kettle

Be creative! (And then take photos of where you’ve hidden them on your phone, so you can find them when you get back)

#7. One final sweep

Before you leave, it’s time to do one final sweep of the house. Here is our check list to make sure you have everything:

  • Windows closed and locked
  • Patio door locked
  • Fresh food in the bin
  • Bins taken out
  • Light left on
  • House alarm set
  • Front door locked including deadlock
  • Got your passport?

#8. Relax and enjoy

Whatever you do, the chances of something going wrong are quite small (especially if you follow our top tips), so don’t let worrying about home spoil your trip. Go and explore!

Want even more piece of mind? You should make sure that your home insurance is up to date. You can buy insurance even if you rent your home, which covers your personal possessions.

Urban Jungle is a new insurance business, working on designing policies and a customer service experience especially for young urban renters and sharers. If you’d like to hear more, and be notified when we launch, you can register here.

Think we’ve missing anything important? Got any special tricks you use? Tell us about them by email on hello@myurbanjungle.com, tweet us @myurbanj, or post on our facebook page.