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08th Aug 2023

Going on holiday? Experts explain how to keep your family home safe

Jody Coffey


You can enjoy your holiday worry-free.

We’ve all been there. You’re enjoying your well-earned time off away from home and then suddenly you feel a cold chill running down your spine: “Did I lock the back door?”

According to recent data from, searches for ‘home security while on holiday’ have increased by 250% in the UK over the past year as people seek peace of mind while away.

To help avoid these stressors so you can enjoy your time away uninterrupted, experts at Express Bi-Folding Doors have put together a checklist of their top tips to run through before closing the door behind you.

These are long-term security steps that are recommended to keep your home secure.

Make sure your door is fully secure

I know what you’re thinking – this one is the most obvious. But, according to the experts, there is more than one way to ensure your doors are secure other than just keeping them locked.

Check your external doors. Are the hinges exposed? If so, it may be time to replace your door, as exposed hinges can lead to crimes of opportunity if spotted by burglars, as this makes it a lot easier for them to physically remove the door.

If replacing your door isn’t an option, you could also consider installing a door with a multi-locking system or ensuring your current locks security rating matches the recommended level.

Make sure your windows and doors are more private

Planting evergreen trees in front of windows is a fantastic way to deter burglars from getting close to your home. For one, landscaping around points of potential entry will be a noisier route for unwanted visitors than if it were left unguarded by shrubbery. Plus, it offers all-year-round protection, not to mention being a beautiful sight to look out your windows at.

You could also consider using privacy window film, which prevents anyone from looking in and realising your home is empty. The film is easy to put on and take off your windows; therefore, it can be applied for those trips away and removed upon your arrival.

Don’t hide a spare key outside

The majority of us are guilty of this one, myself included. The idea of being locked out of your house after a long day at work is enough to encourage us to keep a spare key in safekeeping. However, the experts say hiding a spare key under a rock, the rug, or a nearby plant pot makes it very likely for a thief to find it.

Instead of hiding a key on the premises, consider installing a key safe somewhere out of sight of your front door. The safe should be security-approved and accessible with a code, making it a great place to put a spare key.

Make your home visible

You’re probably thinking, “My home is always visible,” but what the experts mean is that your front garden should be open and visible to easily detect any suspicious activity in blind spots for thieves.

More suggestions include lining your garden with thorny shrubs, which can also put burglars off trying to break in or hide, or having a gravel drive or pathway, which could act as a noise deterrent.

Short-term measures 

While the above may feel like drastic measures to take to keep your home safe while you’re holidaying it up, there are some minor steps that can be taken to give you some peace of mind.

If a burglar sees you home, they will likely avoid at all costs. One of the main ways to deter burglars is to give the impression that someone is at home.

Using timers or smart plugs is a cost-effective solution to leaving lights on the entire time we’re away, because, really, who can afford that with the price of electricity right now?

A top tip, and one I wouldn’t have thought of, is to cancel or pause regular deliveries or subscriptions to avoid a buildup at the usual delivery spot on your premises. This screams, “Nobody is home” to thieves.

In this day and age, we post almost everything online, especially when we are living our best lives on vacation. Where possible, try to limit posting holiday plans online if your page is public. Even a quick review of your followers to make sure there are no suspicious accounts following you that you don’t know would be advised to ensure you’re not letting the wrong people know your house is vacant.

Consider travelling by bus or train to the airport to avoid having an empty car space in your driveway, especially if this would look out of the ordinary for your home. Or, consider offering the space to a trusted friend, neighbour, or family member to keep things looking like business as usual.

According to the experts, an unkempt garden signals to burglars that the property has been dormant for a while. Keeping your garden tidy, especially if you’re away for a prolonged amount of time, is another great way to make it look as if someone is at home.


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