Leaving a window open, followed by leaving the heating on, the back or front door unlocked and a tap running top a poll of the most common worries when leaving our homes to go on holiday.
Panics about leaving the iron on, the tv on and the oven on also feature in the top 20, along with not setting the burglar alarm and not have organised anyone to water plants or feed pets.
The average homeowner experiences 24 panics a year
In fact, the average homeowner experiences 24 panics a year while leaving their property unoccupied, according to new research. And one in seven has actually set off but then turned the car around because the worry was too much.
Get your house in order
Nigel Fisher, spokesperson for Yale which commissioned the research, said: “Whenever we leave our homes empty it’s inevitable that we’ll worry about whether we’ve done all we can to ensure things are safe and secure.
“The list of worries will make familiar reading to many. Ensuring enough time to pack and go through your home admin to ensure all is in order will greatly add to peace of mind, while having the right security measures in place will allow you to rest easy on that sun lounger, rather than fretting about your property.”
As well as the fear of potentially damaging hazards or forgetting key items, over half (56 per cent) of holidaymakers worry about the security of their home while away. If away for a fortnight, the average person puts in four calls to neighbours or key-holders to check things are OK.
Don't put plans on Facebook!
Alarmingly, nearly one in ten feels they live in an unsafe area and confessed they do anything possible to put off potential break-ins. But that still doesn’t stop a third of people posting their travel and holiday plans on Facebook or tagging themselves at the airport.
“Make a checklist in order to feel confident your home will be ok, ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home and be mindful of Facebook status updates and advertising your itinerary,” says Nigel.
The survey revealed we also have our own rituals before leaving the house, including checking windows are shut, ensuring there's no food that will go off and calling out 'Goodbye' even if no one is there!
20 most common panics when leaving the house
- I left a window open
- I’ve left the heating on
- I left the back door unlocked
- I left the front door unlocked
- I’ve left a tap running
- I left the lights on
- I left all the curtains open
- I left my laptop/valuables in view of the window
- I haven’t sorted anyone to water the plants
- I left the oven on
- I left the shed unlocked
- I left the TV on
- I left the back gate open
- I forgot to lock the car
- I didn’t set the burglar alarm
- I left a spare key outside
- I haven’t sorted anyone to feed the pets
- I left the radio on
- I haven’t left the cat/dog door open
- I left the iron on.
Homeowner's ritual when going away
- Check every window is shut and locked
- Make sure the heating is turned off
- Make sure there’s no food that will go off
- Check every plug socket
- Scan every room in the house
- Generally tidy the house
- Set a burglar alarm
- Hide valuables in secret places
- Check all the light switches
- Open or close all the curtains
- Take out the bins
- Check the back gate is locked
- Move all valuables away from view of the windows
- Check the garage door is locked
- Make sure the shed is locked
- Make sure the plants are watered
- Set the alarm
- Empty the washing machine, dish washer and tumble dryer
- Check there are no spare keys outside in hiding places
- Call out ‘Goodbye’ as I leave the house, even if no one is in.