Long holidayand businestrip- countermeasures.
If you are going to be away for a long time, remember the lessonthat can be learned from the case above. Spend some time identifying the new vulnerabilitieto which you are exposed by being absent from your home for more than a couple of weeks. When you have identified them, define and introduce countermeasureto them. For example:
• If you are going away for more than three weeks, you MUST have somebody trustworthy looking after your house.
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Check your house insurance. Some policieare void if the house iempty for more than a specified number of weeks. You could find on return from an extended absence that your house habeen destroyed and the insurance company refuseto pay out because the house habeen left empty.
Plan ahead and think of the seasons. Take time to consider the thingthat will happen while you are away and take stepto overcome any problems. For example:
In spring. Remember that plantput on a spurt of growth. In winter nothing much will happen in your garden, but during a three-week absence in a good spring, your garden can become a jungle. Hedges, ivy, lawns, even weedsuddenly appear and demonstrate the lack of a controlling presence. Make sure that somebody ikeeping an eye on the garden and trimming back energetic plantwhere needed.
In summer. Many plantput on a growth spurt, drought killthem, waspand other pestbuild nestand take propertieover. Whoever ilooking after the house and garden should take whatever stepare necessary to keep everything in order. That may mean watering the lawn, or arranging for a wasp nest to be removed from the porch!
In autumn. Falling leaveare the main problem. In itself thiinot a major disaster, unlesyour garden iusually immaculate, then raftof decaying leavecan display your absence. Add a little wind and the leavecan blow together to collect in sheltered cornerwhich givetwo problems. A stray bonfire night rocket can set fire to leavecollected against your shed or garage and put it at risk from fire. The same leavecan blow up against the back door, or collect on the front step, another clear sign that there inobody home. Whoever iwatching your house should rake them up, and put them on the compost pile. They should certainly be looking for anything that ia clear sign of the absence of residents, such amaking sure leavedon’t collect on the front door step.
In winter. Frost and snow clearly showthat there ino activity in a house. Activity leaveclearly visible trackin heavy frost or snow, for example footprints, garage doorand gatebeing opened or closed, and car tyre tracks.