Living abroad for 5 years and counting is challenging when it comes to survival - like searching for a good place to stay, with good environment, good neighbors (although we barely know each other), good landlord (if we are on rental term) and good security.
In Czech, most people live on flats / apartments although we don't have a lot of sky crappers here. It is quite different if compared to Malaysia, at least the place I live in Perak. Obviously, there are no apartments / flats in my small town and neighbors usually know each other until a point they can sense any unfamiliar people going to our house. :p
1. Door and window grills.
One way to assume if that area is secured or not, look at the doors and windows.
If you don't need any grills on them, the risk of leaving the house for holidays or even to go to work is lower. I still remember when someone broke into my aunt's house, the polices blamed her for not installing the grills on her windows. Duh.
I barely see grills in houses / flats in Czech actually. One interesting fact about doors here is they are automatic locked from the outside, even doors in the building. So, basically if you want to go out for a while (for example to throw the rubbish bags into the main rubbish bin), it is either you don't close the door or you need to take the house key with you.
For long travel, make sure to double triple check that we have close and lock all windows and doors!
2. Ask the neighbors to look after our house.
Usually there are always neighbors who stay at home during holidays or festive seasons. For example, their house is the one people keep coming, I mean they are the grandparents whom their children's families are heading to.
Don't put high hope or pressure on this actually as other people may ask their help as well. Haha
3. Don't update our travel on the go.
I know some people can't help to share the sweet memories while travelling instantly on Instagram, Facebook or what ever social medias we have. I have that moments as well. Just, most of times, I update or upload anything after I leave that specific places or when I arrived home after travelling.
Basically my Instagram is not really instant but more to Latergram? Hehe
When we update our holidays live on social media, we are actually letting people know that no one is at home. I am not saying that it is wrong and I am still trying to adapt with the fact that people have the right to share anything online. Just, we need to bear the consequences. That's it.
4. Arm the security system.
I mentioned in one of my previous post that I love the idea of living in apartments / condominiums (when I am still this young) as they always come with good security systems (CCTV, guards) and equipment that I can use like gym, swimming pool. Well, in other neighborhood as well, there are good security systems nowadays, with entrance control etc.
I've been to my friend's house with good security when all doors are automatically locked with alarm every night. It sounds good though as alarm can at least keep us and our neighbors aware that something wrong is happening if it rings. Of course there are also false alarms. Haha.
But, there is no harm to install security system for our house, right? There is even wireless home security that you don't have to drill or mess up with the house.
5. Take all main keys with us.
Some people put emergency keys somewhere around the house, right?
From my own and other's experience, please do not leave any main keys at home - like under the flower pot, under the carpet. Even, take the car keys with you.
It may not be important, but can you imagine when you lost your car keys when someone broke into your house? You have no idea maybe he / she will return to the house to steal the cars. And I don't think to change the whole security system for the car is cheap. Fuh, better take precautions okay.
There are few other things I always try to do before leaving the house for travel / going back to Malaysia for summer holidays;
- Clean the house (roughly) especially no dirty plates in the sink, no wet clothes in the washing machine, no garbage in the house.
- Switch off most electrical appliances - otherwise we may risk the house for short circuit and fire. Usually, the only appliance I let it on is the refrigerator. I tried to clean out most wet food, but....failed. Haha.
- Close the curtains so that people can't see inside.
- Tell my landlord about my trips.
- Take my bike up the stairs into my flat.
All in all, we really can't expect the future. Just like it is important to have medical insurance for any unfortunate events later in life, the same thing we need to do to our own house before leaving it for a couple of days or maybe even overnight.