It's the holiday break, and I'm sure you’re looking forward to some family time and a bit of rest and relaxation. Maybe you're off to the beach for a week or two. So that usually means your place is going to be unoccupied, and also probably loaded with all the Christmas presents you might get on the 25th – the new iPhone, the expensive laptop, or maybe that big screen TV and new Playstation console.
This is when your valuables are at their most vulnerable, because while you’re on holiday and taking it easy after a busy year, the bad guys are gearing up for their busiest (and most lucrative) time of the year.
Yet it’s not that difficult to make it difficult for those bad buggers. A few simple little tips can make your place reasonably secure and help minimize the likelihood that they are going to run off with your new toys.
1. Get a decent Contents Insurance policy – they’re not expensive, but having cover in place will certainly give you peace of mind.
2. Check that your door locks are all working properly.
3. Jam some wood into your window frames - easy to remove from inside, but it prevents your windows from being opened from the outside.
4. Install a dummy video security camera at your front door – you’ll find them on Trade Me for a few dollars.
5. Get some fake Security System stickers online and stick them to your windows.
6. Leave some lights on in your place (and outside) while you’re away – DON’T close all the curtains!
7. Buy some light timers online – about $10 each. You can also get a timed light that looks like a TV flickering for about $30. Combined with light timers, that should cover your tracks pretty well while you’re away.
8. Don’t leave expensive things like giant screen TVs, laptops and mobile phones lying around the place that can be seen through a window – tuck them away in a cupboard.
9. However, it’s a good idea to leave a cheap and crappy old fashioned TV in your livingroom that CAN be seen through the window - burglars will see that, figure you’ve got nothing else worth stealing and move on!
10. Let the neighbours know you’re going away and when you’ll be back. It also pays to have a neighbour collect your mail while you’re away too – nothing screams “rob me now” more than a mailbox stuffed with letters and advertising leaflets.
Easy peasy. Now is the time to take care of these simple little tricks, and I hope this helps you to have a more relaxing break over the holiday period.
Happy New Year!
managemyproperty is an independent Property Management company based in Wellington, New Zealand.
Richard Horne remains a tireless and energetic investor and commentator, running an experienced eye over the property market.
Visit the website at www.managemyproperty.co.nz