Tickets, passport, suncream... (part 2)
It's inevitable - you're packing to go away for some well earned rest - then the worry of leaving your home kicks in.
So what can you do to eliminate the concern?
Let's take a look at the inside: -
Unplug Non Essential Electrical ItemsThere is a lot to be said for the peace of mind that comes from knowing that the property is safer with items unplugged and not sat in standby mode (though perhaps leave in Sky/Digital box if you are recording a series you do not want to miss!).
Leave a light on or two With ever increasing smart home technology, this is a very easy and superb way of warding off pilferer's and their assailants; perhaps try having differing sets, some up, some down and rooms chasing on a daily basis - try to avoid easily tracked sequences.
Alarms (Smoke & Property) Like outside PIR lighting, burglars hate alarms - for very obvious reasons, but they are useless if not looked after. Check batteries in smoke alarms and wireless alarm sensors regularly, call the local alarm specialist to make sure that it is working optimally. For complete peace of mind, ask about upgrading to ‘Red-Care' or similar, meaning that when the alarm is triggered - the local police will be notified and attend (embarrassing if your family or pets set it iff though). It may also be worth investing in motion sensor cameras for your home so that if the worst case scenario happens and someone does break-in you'll have them on camera.
The Kitchen Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is the most likely to cause you problems - well at the very least some unpleasant smells and the worst, uninvited critters. So start by emptying your fridge of anything that will go off (perhaps offer it to your neighbour) then look at fruit and veg (again give your neighbour what you don't want, it'll make it harder for them to decline your watering request when weighted down by food), then attack bins, empty all the bins into the kitchen one and make sure that it ends up kerb side awaiting collection. Check your freezer is working correctly and closed properly. There is nothing worse than coming home to a kitchen filled with water and a lot of unfrozen steadily degrading food. Finally unplug what is not needed but making sure the fridge & freezer remain on.
Papers & Post Write/email/notify the local paper shop that you're out of town for a while and alert your credit card/bank that you’ll be in another country. This will help them with their security and you are less likely to have your card declined when you need it most. When your neighbour is checking your home, get them to pick up your post and place it somewhere that is safe, secure and away from windows, perhaps a kitchen draw/cupboard.
Central Heating Hugely dependant upon times of the year and seasons, but lets assume that you are off on a summer holiday… Pop the heating into holiday mode, turn off the water where you can, at taps, showers, baths (not the main stop cock at this point) and turn TRV’s (Thermostatic Radiator Valve’s) down too. If you have smart home technology this is all made much easier as you can amend and change settings away from the home, perhaps speak to your energy supplier (British Gas own Hive) or your local heating engineer who will know the right system product for your boiler type.
Well all there is to do now is go on holiday and enjoy the experience as best that you can, knowing that there are many less worries that need your attention at home.