Going on holiday is one of the things many of us look forward to every year: a winter ski resort in Switzerland or perhaps a trip to Spain . No matter what it is your home will most likely be left unoccupied and thus vulnerable to a burglary. In this article we will explain the things you can do to help protect your property when you’re away.
Secure Your Home
The first thing you need to do when setting off for your holiday destination is secure your home. It sounds simple but you would be surprised by how many people fail to secure your home properly. You must ensure all your windows are locked securely locked along with all ground floor external doors.
Make It Look Like Someone Is Home
Burglars are well known for targeting properties which look unoccupied as the chances of getting caught in the act are drastically reduced. So the first thing you can do is to make it at least seem like someone is home. You can do this by the following;
You may have newspapers, milk or food delivered once a week. If this is the case, we suggest you cancel such deliveries until your return. As a bunch of unopened mail or milk bottles is a clear sign no one is home and the home is vulnerable to break in. If you do not or cannot cancel your deliveries ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbour to visit your property and collect any deliveries.
Plug timers are a great way to give the impression you are home. Plug timers can be brought very cheaply and easily at your local hardware store. Simply plug in appliances such as lamps, radios and TV’s and set the timers for when you want the appliances to turn on and off. We recommend purchasing numerose timers and using these on numerous devices and set them to turn on and off during both the day and night.
Royal Mails Keep Safe Service
A pile of unopened letters similar to a pile of newspapers or milk bottles is a clear sign nobody’s home. Royal mails Keep Safe service will withhold your mail for the specified amount of time you have given them. This service is not free but is affordable, keep in mind Royal mail will require a 5 day notice period.
For More information on how to secure your home please visit ITCC London Locksmiths Blogs.
Tell The Least Number Of People As Possible
It may be a shock to know but 1 in 4 burglars know their victims, this could be anyone from a close friend to a builder who recently carried out work at your home. This is why it is important to tell the least number of people as possible you are going away on holiday as the fewer people who know the better. Furthermore try to resist the temptation of posting your adventures on social media until your return as people will know your away and your home vulnerable to a break in.
Ask For Help
Ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbour to carry out every day’s tasks such as keeping your garden tidy and checking for any breaches in your properties security. They could also change your plug timer times to stop any burglar who may be scoping out your property to realise these are plug timers and not people. Ensure you leave whoever you have tasked to do this, with your contact details as well as where you will be staying and make sure you offer them the same courtesy when they go on holiday.
Set Your Alarm
If you have a home security system or alarm ensure you turn it on. Astonishingly approximately 30% of people never activate their alarms making them all but useless. You should ensure this system is activated and anyone who you have asked to visit your home has the correct password to deactivate and activate the system.
Stash Valuables in Your Safe Or Hide Them
If you have a safe, ensure this is used when you are away. You should store such items as cash, jewelry or important documents such as deeds and contracts. Depending on the size of your safe will also determine where you place it. If you have a heavy duty safe then you can place it almost anywhere as it will be extremely troublesome to either move or break into. However if you have a small safe try to hide it in a safe location out of sight such as in a cupboard or better yet under a flood board, as small safes are easier to break into and easy to run away with.
Out Of Sight Out Of Mind
Ensure you keep any valuables such as Tv’s games consoles, games and PCs out of sight from the outside as many criminals are opportunist and if they see something they like may take the chance to try and grab it, by keeping any valuables out of sight you will gives these type of thieves no reason to break in.
Never write your full address on your travel luggage. While unlikely it is possible a thief may be able to tell you are traveling and will now know your address knowing your home will be left vulnerable.
This post was written by Callan Wells-Raynes, a manager at ITCC Locksmiths in London. A locksmith company with over 12 years of experience and over 100 years of combined experience.