Holidays: leave it all behind?

Holiday time has come round again, a time of relaxation, rest and fun, but for some of us holidays can also be a source of stress. How can you make this highlight of the year a moment of pure relaxation and pleasure?

Secure your home with the help of a friend or neighbour

The aim is to ensure that no one suspects you're not there. Why not ask a friendly neighbour to drop by your home from time to time to collect the mail, move a chair, switch on a light or open/close the shutters. Closed shutters during the day and an overflowing letterbox are clear signs that the house is unoccupied.

Equipment solutions

There are programmable lighting solutions, as well as motion detector lights; the lights, like a letterbox regularly emptied, indicate someone is present and deter potential burglars. You can also ask your local postal service to hold your mail.

To go even further, you can install cameras, even dummy ones. If you can, invest in an alarm. The ultimate solution is remote surveillance coupled with a remote security service and a security guard who comes over when the alarm goes off, but this is an expensive solution.

Watch out for your valuables

For your valuables, you have the option of a safe, but this tends to attract intruders because the presence of a safe implies that you have valuables... An option I would not recommend. For example, if you own several vehicles, I'd advise you to add the keys to the key ring with the keys of the house. You take these on holiday with you, so you can't lose them or have them stolen.
And don't forget to check that no duplicate keys have been left outside the house. If this is the case, as with unused car keys, add them to the same key ring.

First and foremost, the windows and doors

Before you leave, check that all your doors and windows are securely closed.
If you have the budget, reinforce your doors and windows by using an A2P approved multi-point lock (Preventive Protection Insurance) for your front door, and burglar-proof windows.

Rely on law enforcement officers

Don't hesitate to inform the police/gendarmerie of your absence: they will carry out special (regular) patrols around your home. You will be informed if your home is broken into.

Draw up a to-do list

A few days before you go on holiday, draw up a list of things you must not forget to do: turn off the gas, water, alarm clocks, heating, unplug electrical appliances, etc. In winter, leave your heating on in frost protection mode.

Be discreet

Leave discreetly: don't shout from the rooftops that you're going on holiday, just tell your close family and friends. Similarly, avoid announcing your absence on social networks: although you're delighted to share your holidays, you should not divulge this information, especially how long you’ll be gone.

Take care

Isn't it said that discretion is the better part of valour?
Don't make life easier for (potential) burglars by leaving around objects that could help them break in, for example, a ladder in the garden that could give them access to your windows.

And what about your bank?

Tell your banker you’re leaving, and if you're going abroad, check the limit on your bank card with him or her so that you can make the most of your holiday. Finally, take your bank's emergency number with you, as it may come in handy.

Most of these precautions are common sense, but as the saying goes: prevention is better than cure. So simulate your presence so you can go on holiday with an easy mind.

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