We all look forward to our holidays, and nothing could be worse than returning with holiday blues – except returning home to find you’ve been a victim to a break in. The last thing any homeowner needs is the hassle of contacting the police and home insurance company before even having chance to unpack their suitcase.
So what steps can homeowners take to keep their property safe while it’s unoccupied? With summer holiday season almost here, we thought we’d share some general tips for protecting your home while you’re away.
Of course, the main entry points for criminals are doors and windows. The best measures are preventative, so make sure you have highly secure windows and doors in the first place. Double glazed windows and strong composite doors are difficult to break into. Additionally, make sure all windows and doors are locked before leaving for your holidays. Also, remember not to keep any keys – especially car keys – near the front door.
- Make it look like you’re at home
It isn’t really economical to leave the TV on for two weeks while you’re away in an effort to deter burglars. However, there is now a way to switch your lights on remotely at certain times of the day. You can buy timing switches for lamps, or now you can even download an app which lets you control your household appliances from your smartphone.
There are other tell-tale signs that you’re on holiday – leaflets or newspapers hanging out of your letterbox, milk left standing on your doorstep. Why not ask a family member or trusted neighbour to check in on the house every couple of days and collect mail? This will give you peace of mind while you’re away.
If you are taking your car on holiday with you, then it might be a good idea to ask someone to park in your driveway or outside your house. Neighbours with more than one car will probably be happy to do this, to make it look like someone is at home.
- Keep valuables out of sight
Your blinds and curtains will remain open (unless a neighbour has a key to shut them for you) so remember that your belongings are on view 24/7. Make your home less of a target by moving any valuables and large electrical items out of sight – make sure burglars can’t see expensive TVs and games consoles ready for the taking in an empty house.
Follow these tips and you’ll be less likely to have a nasty surprise when you get home from your holidays.