Sunday 10 June 2018

5 Things We Did To Secure Our Home

When we pulled up to the house yesterday after a long drive home after our holiday, I found myself thinking 'please don't have been burgled, please don't have been burgled'. I just had this horrible feeling that it could have happened - and wouldn't it be awful to find that out while you were with your kids? My family home was burgled when I was a child and I remember feeling absolutely terrified that my guinea pigs might have been stolen (they weren't... obviously, but this seemed like a logical conclusion to me at the time). 

We hadn't been burgled, I walked into a part-tidy house (so close to being tidy and then we ran out of time before we left for our holiday) and felt a rush of relief at finally being home. There's nothing quite like home, is there? Even when it's messy and covered in toys, it's still home. 

For the last couple of years, we have had friends house sit for us while we've been away. I cannot stress how wonderful this is. Your house is safe, your cat is fed, and you know that if something does happen, you'll get a text letting you know. I loved having house sitters. It made life so easy and it meant we didn't have to put the cat through the stress of a car journey (she does not like the car). 

This time, however, we didn't have a house sitter. We sent Bear off for a holiday with Laurie's parents, and we left the house empty. I felt nervous about leaving the house empty while we were away, probably because it's the first time we've done that in a while. Crimes rates are climbing and burglary seems to be a common occurrence where we live (if the local Facebook group is to be believed...). 

So, here are a few things we did to try and secure the house while we were away:

1. Got new locks
We recently updated our home insurance and, as part of that, we needed to update some of the locks at the back of the house. You could request the help of London locksmiths to update the locks on your doors, but we chose to go down the DIY route. The weekend before we left, Laurie bought and fitted a few new locks at the back of the house. It feels so much safer now, just having that extra bit of security has made a big difference to my peace of mind. 

2. Told the neighbours 
We live in a terraced house so it makes sense to warn the neighbours before we go away. At the very least, they can look forward to some lie-ins while my kids are in another country. And it means if they hear any suspicious noises or see anyone hanging around, they might keep an eye out for us. I don't think either of our neighbours would ignore signs of a break-in, so hopefully telling them when we're away makes our house a little safer. 

3. Made the house look lived on
I left lights on in the house so that it would look lived into passersby. We don't get milk deliveries (obvs), but cancelling things like that can stop your house appearing empty. It's a good idea to ask somebody to clear mail from behind the door while you're away, though we don't really get enough mail to warrant this. You can set lights to come on with a timer, but I just leave a couple of lights on permanently for ease. 

4. Hid things
This one might be a bit weird... but I hid some valuables just in case we were broken into. I'm aware that burglars empty drawers and rifle through your things, but I still hide the things that are dear to me. They would probably find them easily enough, but hiding them makes me feel a little less worried about getting burgled so I still think it's worth doing. 

5. Checked all the windows and doors
Before we left, I did one final sweep of the house and checked that all the windows were securely locked. I also checked the doors and made sure all of the locks were on. This sounds really obvious, but it's easy to forget to do this in a rush. Laurie is forever leaving windows open so I have to make a habit of checking. 

If you have any tips for other ways to secure your home against intruders, I'd love to hear them.

This is a collaborative post. 

Photo by Daniel von Appen on Unsplash

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