What’s more exciting in life than setting off for a well-earned holiday? Not too many things, we reckon, and whether you’re staying put in wonderful New Zealand or jetting off for an overseas adventure, going on holiday is something we all look forward to.

A survey published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment found that Kiwis made nearly 2.5 million trips abroad in the 12 months leading up to May 2016. Taking a break on home soil was just as popular, with the same source revealing that NZ$18.1 billion was contributed to the New Zealand economy by domestic holidaymakers – that’s a whole lot of ice cream!

In the hectic run-up to your holiday it’s possible that you’ve completely forgotten about keeping your house safe once you’re gone.

Whether you’re tramping through one of New Zealand’s Great Walks, or soaking up the sun on a Mediterranean beach, have you considered how secure your home is during your absence? In the hectic run-up to your holiday (think packing and planning your adventure) it’s possible that you’ve completely forgotten about keeping your house safe once you’re gone. Never fear! Here is the indispensable Tower Insurance guide to ensuring your house is secure whilst you’re on your jollies – contents insurance could be a good idea, too!

1. Install an alarm

With a burglar alarm fitted, you’ve already deterred countless potential crooks from breaking in. Be sure that your alarm is visible from the pavement – when a thief sees that tell-tale system from the streets, all but the most determined will move on to an easier target. After all, no burglar wants to get caught, and the risk of setting off a loud alarm for all and sundry to hear just isn’t worth the effort. Modern alarms are typically linked to a security service, so when set off, help comes running.

A visible burglar alarm system will deter all but the most determined crooks.A visible burglar alarm system will deter all but the most determined crooks.

2. Be smart with lights

When on holiday, one of the oldest tricks in the book to keep your home safe is to make it look as if someone’s in. It’s a good tactic, but one that cunning criminals are wising up to. Having your lights on during the evening can create this impression, but not if they are illuminated 24/7. Not only will this send your electricity bill through the roof, but robbers casing the area may well realise that they never turn off, even during the day. Nor will a house in complete darkness help, as it will be even more apparent that you’re not around. The answer is a simple one – timers. Easily installed, timers will flick your lights on as dusk falls, and turn them off when appropriate. You can even install curtains that draw and open themselves when necessary, for extra security.

Timers will flick your lights on as dusk falls, and turn them off when appropriate.

3. Have a house sitter

If you’re worried about leaving your house unoccupied, why leave it unoccupied? It sounds simple, but by inviting a friend or family member to stay at your home for a week or two, robbers are more likely to keep away from your property. Lights will be turned on and off and the glow from the television will be apparent. The stereo may be blaring and there could even be a car parked outside. These all lead to the general impression that someone’s in.

4. Cancel your newspaper and have mail collected

If you have a pile of mail and a week’s worth of newspapers clogging up your letterbox or porch, you may as well paint a big sign on your house saying ‘No one’s home!’ Luckily, it’s a simple fix. Ask a neighbour to collect your mail each day to give to you on your return.

Advertising your extended absence could lead to scenarios such as this.Advertising your extended absence could lead to scenarios such as this.

5. Be mindful of what you post online

It can be very tempting to tell the whole world and their dog that you are heading away for a holiday via social media, as well as posting beautiful snaps of your time. However, you should be aware that such actions can alert potential criminals to an unoccupied house, so try to limit what you’re posting online, or at least ensure your privacy setting are as tight as possible. Think about it – how many of your Facebook friends or Twitter followers do you even know that well?

Contact the helpful team at Tower to discuss your contents insurance options – we’ll be glad to talk you through them.

Posted by Katie Anderson