What you may have to cancel
- Papers (careful who hears you in the shop)
- Grocery deliveries
- Milk deliveries
- Appointments you made before you knew you were going on holiday
Who should you tell?
- The Police? Most police forces don’t record information about unattended premises anymore
- Trusted neighbours and friends Leave them with your contact details, a spare set of keys and the PIN for your alarm
Arrange for some of these things to be done
- Pop in each day and draw the curtains
- Switch lights on and off
- Cut the grass
- Water some plants
- Move the car a bit
- Take in the mail and freebie newspapers
- Do other things that make your place look occupied
- Leave one of their cars on your driveway
- Your alarm and or key-holding company Make sure they have up-to-date key holder details. Has the alarm been serviced? Update the local authority if you have registered your alarm with them
- Consider using the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service. For a small payment they will hold your mail for up to 2 months.
What should I lock up or lock away?
- Garden and DIY tools that could be used to break into your home
- Garden furniture and the barbeque can be stored in a locked outbuilding
- The garden gate
- All outbuildings and the garage
- Protect the fish
- All doors and windows
- Remove all keys from all locks and put them in the safe or hide them away
- Tell your key holders where you’ve hidden the keys
- Put car keys in the safe or leave with your friends or trusted neighbour
- Remove all items of value in view from your car
What should I put in the safe?
- Valuable jewellery and small items that have sentimental value.
- Documents and other small valuables including wills, house deeds, credit and store cards you’re not taking with you
- Larger items of value, such as paintings should be hidden from obvious view or maybe placed in the loft. Your insurers may have laid down conditions
What else should or could I do?
- Phone the Bank and Credit Card Company Let them know when and where you will be to reduce the possibility of having your card stopped. They’ll still tell you there’s no guarantee that this won’t happen but nevertheless you are protecting yourself from credit card fraud should this happen while you are away
- Operate some internal lights on time switches
- Operate some external lights on timers or solar switches Only light places that can be seen by a responsive witness; someone who actually calls the police.)
- Drawing the curtains or closing the blinds If your neighbours are unable to draw the curtains or close the blinds you could drape some netting fabric over the downstairs windows while you’re away. Table lamps placed close to the netting can make it more difficult to peer through. Although expensive, you can purchase automatic closing devices for both curtains and blinds.
- Check expiry dates for car, home and holiday insurance cover
- Check expiry dates for car’s Test Certificate (MOT) and Road Fund Licence
- Answer-machine messages Don’t leave messages that indicate you’re away on holiday. Can you transfer work calls to another number?
- Turn off the gas and water supply (if you are away for a long while).