Simon Calder offers advice on booking staycations for 2021
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Around 71 percent of UK citizens are said to be swapping their overseas jaunt for a staycation according to research from money.co.uk. Yet, just because holidaymakers may not plan to travel too far they still shouldn’t be lax about protecting their homes.
In fact, experts are urging travellers to carry out some simple checks in order to keep everything shipshape while they are away.
Ben Gallizzi, an energy expert from money.co.uk warned: “There are several checks we should be doing before we leave our house for long periods of time to save energy and keep our homes safe.”
Tips cover everything from reducing the cost of bills while travellers are away to keeping burglars at bay.
What home safety measures should holidaymakers follow before heading on a staycation?
Adjust the thermostat
Before leaving the house, experts say holidaymakers should either turn off their heating or turn down the temperature.
“It’s worth turning your heating off or at least adjusting the temperature of the thermostat a few degrees to save energy and stop your home from heating up too much with no one there,” recommended Gallizzi.
Switch off plugs
Make sure electrical items are switched off at the wall, rather than just being placed on standby.
“A TV left on standby for a few days can waste more electricity than you think,” explained Gallizzi.
“Ensure all of your plugs are turned off before leaving the home.
“To be extra safe it’s also a good idea to unplug some items altogether.”
However, there are some exceptions to this rule, including fridges and freezers.
In fact, these should be left on to avoid unwanted defrosting.
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Make your home look lived in
An empty house is a perfect target for opportunistic burglars. However, there are some simple ways to avoid any unwanted visitors while away from the home.
“One of the easiest ways to keep your home safe is to make it look lived in while you’re away,” pointed out Gallizzi.
A great way to do this is by placing lamps or lights on a timer.
“A lot of people have their lights connected to their smartphones and can switch their lights on and off no matter where they are,” said Gallizzi.
“An alternative solution is to buy a wall timer switch and connect it up to a lamp.
“You can then set the timer to come on for a couple of hours each day to make it look like someone’s home.
“Just don’t forget to leave the switch on for the plugin timer so it works.”
Consider house watchers
Giving a key to a trusted family member, friend or neighbour means they can pop by if necessary and can double down on security.
“It may be worth letting them know you’re away so they can keep an eye out for anything that may look suspicious,” said Gallizzi.
They could also collect any newspapers or deliveries that may be piling up which could be an easy indicator of an empty home.
Make sure to lock up
“This may seem like an obvious one but make sure you have locked up before leaving,” said Gallizzi.
The expert isn’t just talking about locking the front and back door, but also ensuring any windows or patio doors are also locked up.
Ensuring outside entrances, such as garden gates, are also bolted is essential.
“While you’re doing this you may want to close your blinds and curtains too to prevent anyone from being able to see directly into your home,” he recommended.
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