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Avoid a domestic disaster at home when heading off on your holidays

How many of us entrust a neighbour or friend with a key to check our property while we are away when we head off on our holidays?

According to latest research, less than half of us leave a spare key with someone, and only 52 per cent leave our holiday contact details.

However, many domestic disasters – like water leaks, power failures or even a burglary – could be avoided, according to a study from the AA’s Home Emergency Response service.

On the back of findings that 21 per cent of holidaymakers returned to some kind of a home emergency, independent estate agents and valuers Harrison Murray have some advice for those heading off this summer, leaving their properties empty.

Head of estate agency Nick Salmon said: “The security of your home when you go away on holiday or for a short break is paramount. We advise that a neighbour or friend should ‘keep an eye’ on the property while you are away – and if you are selling your property, ensure your agent has a key.

“Simple things could go unnoticed and no-one wants to come back after a week or two to find something wrong with the house – either storm damage, a leak or power failure.

A pre-holiday checklist should include:

– Unplug electrical appliances – Turn off the water stopcock – Give a key to a friend or neighbour to check your home – as well as giving them the number of your agent – and leave another key with your agent so they can carry on showing potential buyers around the property. – Leave your contact details with someone in case of an emergency – Ensure all windows, doors, sheds, garages are locked and don’t leave keys on view – Make sure there is no left over food lying around which could attract pests – If you have an alarm, turn it on and give your keyholders the code – Put a couple of lights on a timer to make your home appear lived in

The survey also revealed that:

– 25% of those who’d experienced a home emergency while away had a water leak – 20% had a pest infestation – 15 15% had their home burgled – 12% had their home flooded – 10% experienced a power failure – which could affect major items such as the freezer

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