9 Key Tips For Securing Your Home While You’re On Holiday

As the summer rolls around once more, and the weather starts to warm up, it’s natural we’d be looking to make the most of the sunshine while it lasts. While some might relish those rays in the comfort of their garden, more will opt to venture out to the British coastlines or even further afield.

Whether we’re savouring a staycation or exploring sunlit Spanish sands, keep our homes and businesses secure while we’re away is absolutely crucial. Here at Churchill Support Services, we’re all too aware of that, and as one of the UK’s leading security companies, we’re committed to offering guidance, support and advice for all aspects of safety.

With our latest piece, we’ll be offering 9 invaluable tips on keeping your home secured while you’re not there, as well as practical advice on you can best ensure you come back to everything exactly as you left it.


9 Crucial Tips For Keeping Your Home Secure While You’re Away

We’ve picked out just 9 of the most important things you can do this summer to keep your home as safe and secure as possible.


1. Ensure All Windows & Doors Are Fully Locked

It’s arguably the most basic of tips, but it’s one that a surprising amount of people seemingly forget or neglect to do when going away. Statistics estimate that around a third of all burglaries take place because a door or ground-floor window was left unlocked or, in some cases, even slightly open.

We often assume we’re immune to these kinds of slips in judgment, but the truth of the matter is that they can (and often do) happen to even the most vigilant of people. We’ve explored the UK’s pressing issues with burglary in our comprehensive article, but suffice it to say it’s not a crime that’s confined to one area of the country.

The solution is, as you might expect, quite simple in theory, but much more difficult in practice. Always leave time – whether you’re dashing to catch a flight or driving down to the coast – to double and even triple check your windows, doors, and any other access points (like a cellar or balcony).

It’s also a good idea to do this before you leave the house for any prolonged period of time, such as heading to work or doing the shopping. Most modern windows also have a catch system, meaning you can still allow air to circulate your home without putting you at unnecessary.


2. Install An Intruder Alarm System

One of the more tried-and-tested measures in home security, an intruder alarm system is specifically designed to protect your home from, as the name suggests, intruders. Traditionally, they operate using multiple sensors (usually in the top corner of the room for maximum visibility) that trigger an alarm if something is sensed.

Modern alarm systems have moved with the times, and many now offer the convenience we’ve come to expect, such as integration with smart phones, remote setting, and even alerts when the panel is deactivated.

However, despite that shift to become more tech-savvy, recent surveys revealed that as high as 45% of homeowners don’t have some form of intruder or burglar alarm in their property. In fact, many choose to eschew security measures entirely, avoiding CCTV cameras, video doorbells, and other stereotypical safety equipment.

That’s a decision that we feel can often do more harm than good, particularly given the deterrent powers an alarm panel can have. This is the reason behind this tip’s inclusion so highly on our list – we feel an alarm system can only bring with it an additional level of safety, security and above all peace of mind.


3. Avoid Hiding A Key Outside Your Property

While we’d often assume this is something reserved for fiction, it’s a scary truth that many people do opt to conceal a door key outside of, or close to, their property. Under a plant pot or doormat, behind a rock or bush, even in hanging baskets – there’s a worrying trend towards people leaving a key in the immediate vicinity of the home.

None of these, as safe as they might seem, are actually safe. A determined burglar can and will find these spots, no matter how safe you may think they are, and you’re in a situation that’s difficult to recover from.

That’s especially true with home insurance – most policies won’t cover you if a burglar enters with a key you’ve left outside, meaning you could run the risk of both the financial and emotional turmoil associated with burglary, without the safety net insurance offers.

We’d strongly recommend avoiding a key outside your home, especially in the more obvious spots. If you absolutely have to, invest in a coded lockbox that attaches to the outside of your home – these are robust, and only allow access to those who have the right code.


4. Let Family & Neighbours Know You’ll Not Be In

A tip that many don’t consider is one that could really prove invaluable. We’re naturally going to let our family know that we’re going on holiday – if only to brag! – but it’s also a great idea to let any trusted neighbours know you’ll not be in, too.

Not only does this offer an additional pair of watchful eyes on your property while you’re away, it’s also a great way to ensure that there’s an additional safety net for any electronic security measures you might have in place.

An alarm activation very rarely goes unnoticed, but with your neighbours on side, you can rest assured that any disturbances will receive the right involvement. Plus, if the worst does happen and you come home to find your belongings missing, your neighbours can offer valuable insights and witness testimonials.


5. Invest In A Video Doorbell

One of the fastest growing industries, and now a common feature of most modern households, the video doorbell is a relatively recent trend, but it’s one that looks to be staying. In a nutshell, they offer a short clip whenever they detect someone approaching the doorbell, and send that directly to your phone.

You’re then able to see what’s triggered your camera. 99% of the time, it’ll be nothing to be concerned about – a stray cat, a parcel delivery, or a car driving past can and often do trigger the mechanism.

However, if there’s a legitimate threat, you’ll get that same notification, and be able to act accordingly, ensuring that your property stays safe. This can involve calling the police, or ensuring that you’ve got the right measures in place to capture any evidence that you might need for the future.


6. Set Your Lights On A Timer

When we’re away for any length of time, the signs will start to show. No activity in the main rooms of your household, closed curtains and darkened windows are all hallmarks of someone being away from their home, and are an attractive prospect for a budding burglar.

There’s measures you can put into place, however, and they don’t have to cost the Earth. Setting a timer for your lights is one such option, and is arguably among the most effective way to keep your home secure while you’re on holiday.

By investing in a small set of timers, and setting lights (especially floor or table lamps) to come on for a few hours each evening – almost mirroring your usual patterns or movements when you’re home – gives a convincing impression that your property is occupied.

That in turn can help deter burglars and thieves alike, and ensure that, even when you’re not around to protect it, your home remains fully secure.


7. Lock Up Your Garden & Outdoor Areas

Of course, we’ve already touched upon the importance of ensuring any access points to your home (such as windows and doors) are fully locked and secured, but that should also extend to your outdoor areas, too.

Many people have garages and sheds, and more still have some form of outdoor storage that can present just as attractive a prospect to burglars as your home itself can. That’s not reserved for just children’s toys, either – garden furniture, bicycles, toolboxes and equipment are all commonly stored outside the home.

We’d strongly advise putting the same effort into locking up your garden as you do locking up your home. Not only does this stop you from losing things that are stored outdoors, it also means that burglars can’t get access to something that might ultimately help them with their nefarious goals, like ladders and tools.


8. Store Valuables Out Of Sight

While we might never set out to flaunt our wealth or material possessions, it’s all too easy to do this inadvertently. From smart speakers and digital photo frames on the mantelpiece, to games consoles and tablets on the sofa, many of us have far more on display than we’d ever realise.

That’s not usually an issue, particularly when you’re already at home, or you’ve gone out for routine tasks like work, school or shopping, but when you’re away for a prolonged period of time, it’s crucial you shift these out of sight of prying eyes.

Tuck smaller tech (like tablet computers or controllers for games consoles) away from windows, and ensure that any smart speakers or Bluetooth devices like stereos are unplugged and out of the way.

Larger devices like televisions are more of a conundrum – they can’t be moved, but you should take them off standby or switch them off at the wall where possible to ensure there’s no lights or accidental activation. Small steps like these seem basic on the surface, but they make a huge difference.


9. Keep Social Media Posts To A Minimum

In an era where social media has become omnipresent, and it’s impossible to find someone who’s not had some exposure to the major social networks, there’s a tendency to want to post what we’re doing to our friends, family and acquaintances.

It’s only natural, but announcing your departure over socials is often an unconscious signal to any potential burglars, thieves or criminals. That’s especially true if you’ve got your profile set to publicly visible – you won’t know who’s looking at your activity until it’s potentially too late.

We’d urge you to keep your social media posts to a minimum when you’re jetting off, or set your profile to private to ensure that only the people you trust can see your holiday snaps.


Bespoke Business Security From Churchill Support Services

While all of our tips revolving around keeping your home secure while you’re on holiday, we’re ideally poised to keep your business secured whenever you’re away too. As one of the UK’s leading providers of security, Churchill have cultivated a stellar reputation for tailormade, purpose-built security measures for a huge range of sectors.

From on-site security officers that are expertly trained to ensure round-the-clock security for your premises, through to sophisticated, AI-assisted security cameras that are programmed to send immediate alerts to our 24/7/365 Communications Centre, we have the ideal solutions no matter what you’re looking for.

Plus, with year-long coverage, we’re there to provide the security you need when you take that much-deserved break. Get in touch with our in-house experts today to discuss your options in greater detail, and to receive your free, no obligation quotation.

Emily Macaulay

Director of Sales

Emily is responsible for business growth and account development via new sales. She leads the Business Development teams through strategic goals and objectives in line with business targets and strategy. Emily is a friendly, approachable and a respected senior manager at Churchill who always strives to deliver service excellence.