With school holidays here, you may be going away. Here's some tips for keeping your home safe while away.
Secure all tools
Secure all ladders, axes, hammers and saws - anything that will help thieves break into your house.
Turn off all appliances
Make sure you turn off all appliances at the wall to minimise the risk of electrical fires.
Prevent leaks by turning off your water
Prevent leaks by turning off your water. Alternatively, have someone stay at your house or drop in regularly. They won't be able to stop a pipe leaking or bursting, but they can deal with it sooner.
Lock all doors (seems a bit obvious but worth the reminder)
Lock all doors and windows, set alarms and use deadbolts. Don't forget the garage.
Leave your curtains open
Leave your curtains open and your blinds up.
Clean out your fridge
Minimise the amount of food you keep in the fridge and freezer while you're on holiday. That way, less will be lost if there's a power cut while you're away.
Turn down the ring tone on your landline
Turn down the ring tone on your phone. Long loud unanswered rings are just another way of shouting out, "No-one's here."
Be careful who you tell
Don't advertise your absence on your phone answering machine, sites like Facebook or anywhere else that isn't secure.
Leave a number
Leave an emergency contact number with friends or neighbours.
Cancel your newspapers
Cancel newspapers and other deliveries, so they don't pile up on your doorstep and advertise that you're away.
Keep the garden tidy
If you are away for an extended period, arrange for someone to come and mow your lawns and tend the garden.
Ask a friend to help
If you're going to be away for an extended period, you may want to ask a friend to pop over once a week or a neighbour to park in your drive occasionally.
Ask your neighbours to help
If you know them well enough, ask them to check on your house for litter, branches that have blown down or pot plants that have fallen over - tell-tale signs you've gone away.
Tell neighbours you're going away
Tell trusted neighbours that you are going away and arrange for them to collect your mail. Nothing says, "No-one's home!" like an overflowing mailbox.
Have a great time away!