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Keep your home safe

By Waverly Atkinson

Over the Christmas holidays, it’s a tradition to vacate the big cities. We flee apartments, suburbs and office buildings and fan out over the coastline in search of sand, sun and a well-deserved break.

But what about what we leave behind? Our homes are filled with our most precious possessions – about $61,000 worth of them on average (not to mention the property itself).

It’s essential that you take steps to ensure that you’re property and its contents are safe and sound while you’re soaking up the sun. To help make you do just that, we’ve come up with a handy guide to keeping your home secure while you’re away over the holidays.

HOW SHOULD YOU LEAVE YOUR HOME?

We flee apartments, suburbs and office buildings and fan out over the Australian coastline.

When you vacate for the summer it’s important that you do all you can to give the impression you’re still in the home. Leave the curtains open as nothing says, ‘I’m on holiday’ better than blinds that stay shut all day and all night.

Arrange for a neighbour or a friend to collect your mail and perhaps walk around the property once every few days to check for any signs of an attempted break in. Don’t leave your lights on the entire time you’re away – it may create the illusion that you’re home temporarily – but it will also skyrocket your electricity bill and blow a bulb or two.

If you’re really worried about your home, you can purchase a light switch timer for while you’re away. These are widely available and can be set to turn your lights on and off at scheduled times. Would-be intruders will surely avoid your house when they see the kitchen light flick on and off in the evening.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO ORGANISE?

Get your home and content insurance sorted if you haven’t already.

Before you leave, there’s absolutely no reason to stress and panic. But you might as well be as prepared (and safe) as possible, and sort a few essentials before you hit the road.

Firstly if you have an alarm, but have forgotten the code, or have been planning to have one installed – now’s the time to do so.

Secondly, get your home and content insurance sorted if you haven’t already. Ensure that your property is ensured in the case of a storm or break in, and that your content has adequate cover as well. That way you’ll have peace of mind when you’re relaxing on the beach.

BEWARE OF SUMMER STORMS

Severe thunderstorms are actually most common during January and February.

Summer isn’t all sun and sand. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, severe thunderstorms are actually most common during January and February.

While you’re away there’s always a chance that a storm will come down and damage your home in some way. If you have house insurance you’ll be golden, but it’s worth having someone on hand to check on your property after such an event. That way if anything is damaged you can have it fixed before you even come home.

A house sitter is the best option. Use a friend or family member if possible, but if not you can find and interview someone suitable on any number of Australian house sitting sites.

As you can see, there’s absolutely no need to worry about your home over the summer break. With a few precautions in place, as well as thorough insurance cover – you can forget your worries and focus on enjoying a slow-paced, sun-soaked holiday.

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