The dazzling sun, the oppressive heat, the children running in the streets, everything reminds us that the time for vacation has finally come! Whether you are going abroad, to the seaside, to the mountains or simply to the countryside, the few days of (well-deserved) rest that you are going to give yourself must however be well prepared.
Because, we would like to be able to forget it, but summer is also synonymous with an increased risk of burglaries, excessive heat and harmful to plants, but also the lack of surveillance of your home, which could become the scene of small inconveniences that we do not always think of: water or gas leaks, thunderstorms that damage the electrical installations , etc.
So, to leave with peace of mind, without fear of finding your home upside down on your return, here are some wise tips to adopt for a 100% relaxing holiday.
Unplug electrical appliances before leaving
If summer is the holiday season, it is also the thunderstorm season. And lightning strikes a house can seriously damage devices connected to the electrical network.
What to do ? Before leaving, remember to unplug the electrical outlets. This will protect your devices from lightning. This will also allow you to save electricity, since devices on standby consume a lot of energy.
Warning however, do not cut the current at the circuit breaker if your refrigerator and freezer are full! You risk losing all the food they contain.
Turn off the water and gas before leaving
Water leaks can be a real pain, especially when detected late. Imagine the disaster if you notice, after three weeks of vacation, that a pipe has blown the day after your departure …
Same observation, sometimes much more fatal with gas. If your installation is not properly maintained, a leak can cause an explosion and have dramatic consequences for your home or building.
What to do ? Turn off the water at the general house tap. And be very careful when putting the water system back into service when you return. Likewise, shut off the gas supply and turn off your boiler if necessary.
Give a duplicate of your keys to a neighbor or a friend
Flowing water at your downstairs neighbor, and it’s panic. If he cannot reach you, he will surely be tempted to call the fire department, who will be likely to break down your door or break your window to enter your home in an emergency.
What to do ? If you do not have a caretaker, leave a duplicate of your keys with a trusted neighbor, or a friend, whose coordinates you will have entrusted to your neighbors, your caretaker or to your building’s trustee. He will be able to come and open the door to your accommodation in an emergency, preventing you from finding your door broken when you return from vacation.
Plan vacations for our pets
It will be necessary to plan the holidays of Médor before thinking of taking advantage of yours © Janie Airey
If some pet owners take cats, dogs and rodents to their vacation spots, the journey is not always easy for our four-legged companions, and sometimes it is even impossible if you fly. Likewise, it is sometimes very complicated to transport fish, reptiles and birds, especially by car when it is very hot.
What to do ? Several possibilities to ensure our animals with hair, feathers or scales, a comfortable holiday:
- Give them to a friend or neighbor for free;
- Entrust them to a person who welcomes them at home for a fee;
- Call on a specialized company or an individual who comes to your place to take care of them, for a fee.
It’s up to you to find the best solution for your pet and your family.
Protect your plants from the heat of summer
Your plants, whether they are potted inside the house or in the garden, will necessarily suffer from the summer heat. Unless a good soul comes to water them regularly in your absence, you will have to consider a solution so that they do not die of thirst.
What to do ? Several solutions are available to you, from the ideal drip for pots, to automatic and connected watering that will delight your lawn. All the details in our dedicated article.
Protect your plants from the heat of summer or during your holidays © iStock
Completely close your house before leaving
This seems obvious and, yet, many individuals leave their homes leaving a window ajar, or a blind raised. The loophole that burglars are waiting for to break into your home!
What to do ? Close all doors, windows, bay windows, skylights, gate. “Check the condition of your locks and bolts,” advises the National Gendarmerie. Also remember to hide valuables, cash amounts, etc.
Mimic a presence during your vacation
You are absent and the burglars know it! Their increasingly sophisticated techniques allow them to get into your home perhaps even more easily than before, especially if they suspect that the house is unoccupied …
What to do ? It’s up to you to be ingenious to try to make intruders believe that your house is not empty:
- a timer that activates the light regularly;
- a radio on;
- laundry that dries on the line;
- a bag full of dry waste (cardboard boxes, packaging) placed on the landing or in front of the gate, etc.
If your home is connected, you can plan different scenarios to turn the light on / off at certain times every day, to operate the TV or radio in the evening … as if you were still at home.
Close your house completely before leaving it © iStock
Forwarding your mail during the holidays
The mailbox fills up during your vacation, with two major drawbacks: you miss sometimes urgent letters (invoices, reminders, etc.) and you give a clear indication of your absence to potential burglars!
What to do ? La Poste offers a temporary mail forwarding service (from € 28 for 15 days to 1 month). By indicating the address of your vacation spot, you will normally receive all your correspondence there, including registered letters, parcels and magazines. And, if you are only going for a few days, the Post Office also offers to keep your mail at the post office, for 23 €.
The mailbox fills up quickly during the holidays … © ThinkStock
Read water, electricity and gas meters
Unfortunate coincidence, the summer season is also that of energy and water meter readings. If you are on vacation on the scheduled day of the technician’s visit, your operator often suggests that you leave the number read on the meter prominently on your door. Another proof of your absence!
What to do ? If you do not have a connected meter that takes care of it automatically, it is now possible to do your reading online, in a few clicks. You leave with peace of mind, having carried out the reading correctly, and without leaving a trace.
Do not announce your absence on social networks
Finally holidays ! The first instinct of many of us is to inform our friends, colleagues, acquaintances, in short, the whole planet, by posting a message on social networks. A mistake that burglars are looking for …
What to do ? Be discreet about the precise dates of your vacation, especially if you don’t have a security system to protect your home, and no one comes to watch it while you are away. Wait until you get back to post your splendid photos of sunsets and tell in detail your trip.
Have your house watched in your absence
Water, gas, burglaries, animals, plants … Finally, what you lack in your vacation is a human presence!
What to do ? You can ask a good soul to come by your house regularly to check on everything, water the plants, and feed the goldfish. But you can also:
- Use a security company that comes to monitor your home regularly;
- Register for the Holiday Tranquility program, so that the gendarmerie can come and do regular surveillance patrols around your home;
- Offer your accommodation to seniors who come to settle there and take care of it during your holidays, free of charge.
To learn more about these clever and sometimes free solutions, discover our dedicated article.
Connect your home to protect it from burglaries
If it is impossible for you to have your home watched during your vacation, there is still a doubt: is there a water leak? are my plants dying of thirst? was there an intrusion?
What to do ? The ideal solution is home automation. Connected, your home will be more secure: you can make sure that there has been no intrusion, that the doors and windows are properly closed, but also mimic your presence using scenarios, control the watering connected plants, and be alerted in the event of a water leak. Discover our dedicated article to find out more.
Monitor your home remotely using home automation © iStock