Gone are the days when we could simply lock up our homes and leave with the expectation that we’ll return and all will be as we left it.
The very first rule in keeping your home and possessions safe while away is not to let it look unoccupied.
Simple tasks will ensure that your home does not become an opportunity especially for a criminal that is simply passing by.
Make your home look occupied
- Mow your lawn the day before you leave. Overgrown gardens create an impression that there’s no one about to keep it up and are the perfect place for investigation.
- Have a neighbour collect your mail or have it held back at the sorting office – this can be done for a small fee which in comparison to the cost of a burglary should be part of your holiday budget.
- Leave your curtains and blinds open. Even shift workers don’t shut all their curtains all day every day. When the burglars notice that the curtains are drawn all the time, their curiosity will be peaked.
- Cancel any regular deliveries such as milk and the papers. Newspapers lying about for three days or bottles of milk on the doorstep scream ‘open sesame’ to the nefarious passer-by.
- Put some lights on timer switches, which give the impression that there is someone in the property every day and at different times. Remember to have a bedroom light go on during the usual bedtime window, while the living room lights go off at the same time.
- Ensure that your pot plants are frequently watered by a neighbour or relative. Apart from wilting plants being a sure giveaway, noticeable movement at the property sends a message of occupation.
Don’t tell the world that you’re away
Only those that need to know should know. A neighbour, a relative and a few select friends. Adjust your social media settings so that only those that know and trust you are aware that you’re away. Professional burglars scan social media sites for potential targets, checking into the airport with pictures of your entire family is an advertisement that your home is ripe for pillaging. Rather wait till you’re back before your show off your souvenirs and your fabulous fresh tan.
Con the burglars
Most burglars are opportunists; they want to get in, steal what they can and leave as quickly as possible. Leave a little money in an easy to access spot together with some fake jewellery, and spread your valuable belongings throughout your home in unusual places. Burglars are wise to the fake food cans and valuables stashed in underwear drawers, don’t make it easy for them.
Check your insurance
This little piece of sage advice applies to both your travel and home insurance. It’s bad enough coming home to evidence of an uninvited visitor, but to discover you weren’t covered for that visit will sour what would have been a wonderful memory. Also read those clauses carefully. Make sure that every door and window is locked in line with your policy requirements if a burglar gets in very easily you may discover your cover may not apply.
When you’ve covered all the possibilities, placed your contingencies in place – Go and enjoy your holiday!
If you want further security for your home then why not consider an intruder alarm? Call our team in Hastings on 01424 718 844, where we can provide the perfect security solution for your home.