Whilst most of this is common sense, in the excitement of the festivities it can be easy to forget to take precautions to protect your home from intruders or the cold weather.

1. Hide the tell-tale signs you’re away

A pile of letters/cards building up on the doormat and leaflets sticking out of the letterbox clearly communicates that you are away. Cancel your milk and papers. Consider giving a neighbour a spare key so that they can pick up the mail every couple of day or, alternatively, the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will hold your mail for you. Just be aware it takes five days to set up.

3. Create the impression you’re still at home

Buy timing switches for your lights which can be set to turn on and off at specific times of the day, giving the impression you’re home.

Although keeping curtains closed during cold snaps will help retain the heat, it can also broadcast the fact that the house is empty.

Ask a neighbour to park their car outside your house or in your drive while you’re away.

2. Turn everything off at the socket

To reduce the risk of fire make sure that every single appliance except for your fridge/freezer is turned off at the wall and not left on stand-by.  

4. Locks and keys

Once you have locked all the doors and windows, including any outbuildings, make sure the keys are completely out of sight and reach of any windows or your letterbox.

Leave a spare set of keys with a friend, relative or trusted neighbour so that someone can gain entry to the property if something was to go wrong inside the house.

5. Don’t broadcast your absence

Do not advertise your trip on social media as you don’t know who will see this.

6. Protect your property 

Houses left empty at this time of year are at risk of burst pipes. Turn off the stopcock (including those for an outside tap), drain down your system and check your overflow pipe is not dripping if you are going to be away for more than a couple of days. You may want to consider leaving the heating on low.

7. If you are a tenant

If you are a tenant and are planning to be away for a period of time, ensure you inform your landlord and give him or your Property Management team at Mullucks Wells good notice if there are any maintenance issues that may affect the security of your property while you are away. Please remember that, while landlords have many obligations to maintain and repair the property you are renting, it is your responsibility to take all necessary precautions to prevent the freezing and bursting of water pipes.

If you are the tenant of a commercial premises please check the conditions of your lease and ensure you take care of any outstanding repairs or maintenance that are your responsibility.

If you are unsure of your responsibilities or are concerned about any of the above, please feel free to contact our Property Management teams www.mullucks.co.uk/contactus