Do you plan on going away on holiday this summer? If so, it will be important to think about how you will keep your home secure while you are gone. Burglary is one of the most common crimes and if you do not make sure that your property is secure, you could return home to a very nasty surprise and a lot fewer possessions.
You might have contents insurance that will compensate you for the worth of your possessions, but it is still very unpleasant and stressful to have your home broken into. When your home
is burgled you can lose personal items that have sentimental value and are irreplaceable.
Most homes within the UK have burglar alarms, security locks and safety lighting installed as standard in order to protect them. However, there are also many other things that you can and should do to protect your home. So how can you keep your home safe from theft when you are on holiday this summer? Here are some tips that you can keep in mind:
Are your windows and doors securely locked?
It might seem obvious, but many people have forgotten to lock a window or a back door, allowing an opportunity thief access to their home. If you have any ground floor windows or windows that can be reached by climbing, you should have an automatic lock that requires a key to open.
It is also important to have robust modern locks on your front and back doors, as well as a 180 door peep hole so that you can see who outside the door. You might even want to consider installing a specialty lock, or some motion sensors that will deter thieves from your property. If you have a new build house, these types of locks and security features might be already installed.
Get to know your neighbours
Teaming up with your neighbours and working together to watch each other’s houses can be very effective. If your neighbour knows that you are not home, but they spot someone messing around on your property they can call the police. It is not recommended to confront the thief, as they could potentially be armed.
You might want to install external lighting that is motion-sensitive – so it will switch on if someone is in the general area. This will allow your neighbours to notice if someone is sneaking around your house and makes it harder for the thief to conceal their actions.
Don’t forget about items outside the house
If you have your motorcycle, bike or mower outside of the home they can be stolen as well. Make sure that they are locked down and secured. You should also consider engraving them with your name and contact details. This will make them easier to recover if they are stolen and will make them harder for criminals to sell, so they will likely move onto another target.
Be careful on social media
You might be so excited about your beach holiday that you want to share it with everyone on Facebook and Twitter. However, thieves can use this information to know exactly when you will be out of the house. Many thieves have used social media updates in this way to figure out when houses will be empty.
Instead, don’t mention your trip on social media until you have returned – so no one knows that days on which you are gone. Remind your friends not to mention anything about your impending holiday either.
Don’t make it obvious that you are not home
Many thieves will look through the neighbourhood for homes that appear unoccupied. They can tell by the uncut grass, the piles of mail and newspapers, the lack of car in the drive and the lack of lights on or activity in the house. They will then mark your home as a target and observe it for a while to ensure that you are gone, then they will strike.
Ask your friends to help you make your home look occupied when you are not there. They can collect your mail, park their car in your drive, spend some time in the house in the evenings with the lights on, leave the TV on for a while, etc. You could even pay the neighbourhood kid to cut your grass if you will be gone for a while. These little details will make your home less of a target for thieves so you will reduce your chances of being robbed.
Install an alarm system
There are many benefits to installing an alarm system in your home – especially if you will be away for a significant amount of time. The alarm system will deter intruders and it will detect when a door or window is opened using motion sensors. Some systems can be linked to a mobile phone number, so that you will receive a notification if your alarm has been triggered. The security centre will be notified and the police will be dispatched to the property!
Mark your valuable items
It is also recommended that you take photographs of your valuable items and mark them in some way, using the many marking methods that are available. This will help your goods to be traced if they are stolen. Be sure to make a note of all serial numbers of your items. Also avoid leaving valuable items such as laptops and jewellery in view of the windows, as this makes it more tempting for burglars to break in if they can see something they want.
These are just a few common sense tips that you should keep in mind so that you can keep your home secure this summer while you are on holiday. It is impossible to prevent all burglaries, but there are many ways that you can make your home less of a target and reduce your chances of it occurring. With a little bit of planning and care, you can keep your home and possessions safe so that they will be right where you left them when you return with the holiday blues!