6 Tips to Protect Your Empty Home After You Move

Maybe you accepted a job transfer out of town, or maybe you found your dream home and jumped at the chance. There are numerous reasons why people vacate their home before selling it, but doing so presents several challenges as well as making your home vulnerable to thieves and vandals.

Fortunately, protecting your vacant home while selling it is not only simple but also inexpensive.


Here are six simple ways to secure your vacant home, ranging from using security cameras to keeping the yard in good condition.


All windows and doors should be locked and secured.

First and foremost, before leaving your home, make sure to lock all windows and doors. While this may seem obvious, it is very easy to forget to check the locks during a chaotic and stressful move. Most people who are moving out of their homes are not only eager to get to their new location, but they are also occupied with directing movers or loading a truck. Double-checking the locks is something that can easily fall to the bottom of the to-do list. It is, however, one of the most important (if not the most important) steps you can take to protect your home when relocating.


Make use of exterior lighting

Improve your home’s exterior lighting to protect it from intruders. Burglars will be deterred by a combination of timed lights and motion-activated lights. If you do not already have motion detector lights outside, we strongly advise you to install them before moving. After all, a thief is less likely to break into your home at night if they can see you. When someone walks around your property, these exterior motion-activated lights will turn on. A set of lights above the garage doors, front door, windows, and sides of the house is a good idea.

Exterior lighting should also be installed in the garden and detached garages. Home security systems with enhanced exterior lights that integrate with security cameras are available. The home security camera is activated and records video when the light detects motion. You can watch the video on any web-enabled device.


Find a local contact

If it is no longer feasible for you to visit your home regularly, ask a friend, relative, or neighbour to do so on your behalf. Without going out of their way, trusted neighbours can easily keep an eye on the property.

Pay someone to perform the service if necessary. Some companies specialise in taking care of vacant homes by performing interior and exterior checks and ensuring regular yard maintenance. There are even companies that will find people to live in your home while it is being sold.


Keep all security systems turned on

While this may seem obvious, it is all too easy to forget to check all of the locks on your windows and doors or to set the alarm when leaving a property unoccupied. Double-check that all access points are locked, including windows and doors from access points such as the garage. Make sure no spare keys are left outside the building (especially not under the plant pot!) and that no keys are visible through windows, such as on the kitchen worktop.

Even if your house is empty, it is important to keep any existing security systems in place to prevent a break-in. Motion detector lights can be an excellent investment and deterrent to burglars. Install motion-sensor lights on the exteriors of your home to activate when someone walks around your property. You can also install lights above the garage, front entrance, and windows for added security.

Also, don’t believe that thieves are only interested in the contents of your home. Even if all of your personal belongings have been removed, there have been reports of copper plumbing pipes, roof tiles, and even boilers being stolen from properties. This not only results in a loss, but it may also result in severe water or other types of damage to your property, which is unlikely to be covered unless you have specialist unoccupied home insurance.


Examine your utilities

If your property will be vacant for an extended period, it is a good idea to turn off the utilities to reduce the risk of a large loss manifesting. In addition to fire, the escape of water from a leaking or burst pipe can cause significant damage if left unnoticed. Turning off the stopcock and draining your heating system can also help to protect your property.

However, it is often recommended that heating systems be kept on during the winter months to maintain a minimum temperature (often 15°c). This is done to keep the pipes from completely freezing over, making them vulnerable to bursting.


Smart home devices

Technology advancements have aided in the development of several useful smart devices that can reduce the risk of a loss escalating or, in some cases, preventing a loss altogether.

Leak detection devices are becoming more common and can help prevent large losses in a variety of ways. Some of the more basic models can send a notification to your phone when a leak is detected, while more advanced models can monitor the temperature of the pipework and alert you when it is at risk of freezing over. The most advanced models can be outfitted with shut-off valves that turn off the water automatically when a leak is detected.

Smart home security device advancements allow you to monitor what is going on at the property both internally and externally from any location using your smartphone. When someone rings the doorbell, video doorbell devices immediately notify your phone and even include a camera, speaker, and microphone so you can not only see who is at the door but also speak to them. More advanced models will detect motion and alert you if someone is outside your home, even if they have not rung the doorbell.




Have a look at 7 Security Efforts to Implement Before You Move Into Your New Home.

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