With the big bank holiday rush set to hit our roads this Friday, you're probably thinking about packing and remembering your passports and plane tickets.
But with over 8 million homes set to be vulnerable to burglaries this weekend it's time to start thinking about increasing your home's security. That's why we've teamed up with Matt Poll, CEO at the smart home insurance provider Neos, to give you the top five mistakes homeowners make when going on holiday.
1. Not notifying a neighbour
Letting a trusted neighbour know that you will be away for a period of time is one of the easiest ways of making sure another pair of eyes are looking out for your property when you aren't there. By letting them know, they can then keep an eye on the house and even visit a couple of times a week to check everything is okay.
Even something simple like ensuring someone is seen to be coming and going from the house can deter anyone that might be monitoring your home. Smart home technology is also another great way to keep a monitor on your house. As soon as an intruder is detected the system can send a notification to the neighbour's phone so they can investigate it properly or alert the emergency services if they do suspect a break-in.
2. Not having an alarm
It's well known that a burglar alarm or CCTV camera is one of the biggest burglar deterrants. But with the introduction of smart home technology, it is even easier to keep an eye on your home while you're away. As well as smart doorbells and smart alarms, indoor security cameras can be controlled from your smartphone, so you can see if everything’s alright whilst sipping on a cocktail in the sun. Plus, some smart home technology can also monitor your home for leaks and smoke, as well as unwanted intruders. If anything is detected, you can get an alert on your phone and take steps to rectify the situation as soon as possible. You can even get TV lights, which mimic the effect of a television light on your curtains!
3. Putting it on social media
As much as we like to talk about going on holiday, it’s important to keep this off of social media. Putting a photo of you on a plane is basically a big empty home advert for all your followers and their friends to see.
Smart thieves will watch not only your home but can also check your social media channels to find out when to target you. It's best to leave those lovely holiday pics for when you get back!
4. Not contacting your alarm company
If you have a security system in place, notify the company that you’ll be away and get a friend/neighbour set up with access and key holder information. That way you can alarm the house, and someone can still pop in to check up on things. It’s also worth checking that your alarm system has recently been serviced and is working as it should be.
5. Consider the weather
Even if you’re heading off for some sun, the UK weather can turn very quickly and with all the freezing temperatures we’ve seen recently it’s time to put a few preventative measures in place.
Are there items in your garden that could blow over in strong winds? Do your gutters need cleaning? If loose leaves and debris block up the gutters it can easily overflow and eventually even pull the gutters loose.
Consider leaving your heating on a timer too. Smart thermostats are a great way to control your heating straight from your smartphone. Plus, leak sensors can also be installed to detect any leaks that could be caused by frozen pipes. Remember, even the smallest crack can lead to a burst pipe!
For more information on protecting your home with smart home technology, visit www.neos.co.uk.