Protecting our home when we are on holiday

Its holiday season - time for the long-awaited trip abroad. The bags are packed and the tickets are in hand, but before you step out the front door, have you remembered a few vital steps to avoid unwanted surprises when returning home? Ever found yourself in the bathroom on holiday wondering if you’ve turned off the home lights? Making a list of some strategies for keeping the house safe until our return is the first step to being reliably organised and certain you’ve not forgotten anything. Here are our tips to add to your list:

- Disconnect electronic devices such as computers, coffee machines and TVs, don’t leave anything on standby. This will save you energy and help save the environment too.

- Check that all doors and windows are closed. This may sound simple, but almost 30% of burglars enter a home through an unlocked door or window, the most common being the front door, first floor windows or back door. Add these checks to the list and save yourself unwanted visitors.
- To be extra secure from thieves, install a security system or simply place lights on a timer outside. A well-lit home is not the favourite target of opportunistic thieves. If you are leaving for a substantial time, call your post office and block the mail until you are back – a mailbox overflowing with fliers and letters will make it clear that you’re not home.
- If you have a full fridge or freezer and don’t fancy purposely defrosting it over your holiday, follow this little tip to make sure that your fridge/freezer hasn’t turned off or broken: place a coin on the top of an ice cube - if you return and the coin has fallen, throw all the food away.

- If these precautions were not enough to let you have a stress-free holiday then you could always ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check in every once in a while. They could also water the plants for you. If you don’t have anyone trustworthy that you could ask to swing by, we have some more tips for plant care whilst you’re away:
1.    Ad hoc products: ‘water balls’ and complex gel water will gradually irrigate the plants for days.
2.    Inverted bottle: only suitable for an absence of a few days. Fill a plastic bottle with water, making one or two small holes on the cap so that the water comes out slowly. Put the bottle in the pot upside down.
3.     Irrigation: if you have a garden you could consider purchasing an automatic irrigation system or create a DIY irrigation system using small tubes placed into the soil that draw water from a main container.
4.    Mulching: redistribute gravel, bark and other natural materials available, to preserve the humidity of the soil.
We hope these tips help you to enjoy a relaxing summer holiday without worrying how things are doing back home.