Last summer, before we moved all of our things into our new home, we came to visit it one last time. I was taking my mum to proudly show her the house our family would be calling home. I was so excited to move into a period property that was in need of total restoration. As a child, I often dreamt of exploring abandoned houses and finding the treasures that belonged to them and this adventure certainly felt like a dream come true.
The house was special, we knew instantly that it felt like home to us. Embracing us with warm open arms, it welcomed us to make it our own. It definitely needed awakening after sleeping for 50 or more years, with dirty moth-eaten carpets and armies of spiders taking up residence in every corner of every room. But it was also spacious, light and beautiful and needed our love.
Walking to the back door, we noticed that the glass in the (then) conservatory lean to was smashed and the house had been burgled. Stopped in my tracks, I felt sick to my stomach, shocked and sad. Sad for my house even though none of our contents or possessions were even inside. For a home is so much more than a place to live or the material things inside it. It was our special place, a manifestation (to be) of our love, hopes and dreams for our family.
One great thing came out of being burgled that day. It meant the first thing we looked at when we moved in was the security of our new home. New doors, windows, locks and safety devices were added so that now the house we are living in, complete with all our possessions is safe and secure.
Having your house broken into does make you suddenly more aware of the do’s and don’ts for security, especially over the holiday period when you are leaving your house empty and unattended. So when Chill insurance got in touch with me to show me their new study into home safety and tops tips on how to keep your home secure while you are away, I was pleased to see that we definitely did most of these things.
We often joke that anyone breaking into our house would take one look around our living room, strewn with abandoned debris and conclude that in fact the house had already been burgled. So we try to leave the house as messy as possible when we go away as a deterrent! I’m joking of course… But in all seriousness, what do you do to keep your house safe? Do you have any top tips to share when it comes to keeping your home safe while you are on holiday? Here are a few of ours…
We always draw our bedroom curtains. Because you may forget or choose not to undraw your curtains but you would never not draw them at night time, so we hope it looks like someone is in.
We always leave one car on the driveway. But then we have 2 cars… If you don’t you could always ask a neighbour to park on your drive.
We always make sure the side / back gate is locked. Make it harder to get in!
Move your valuables out of sight or even better, lock them away!
Let your neighbours know you are on holiday and get family or friends to look in on the house.
And last but not least don’t forget to get some good cover for your home and contents, check out Chill home insurance for peace of mind.