How to protect your home when you’re away on holiday

Holidays are usually time to relax and have fun, yet many memorable experiences are ruined by burglary. In the UK there are few things we love more than taking a holiday. In 2016, we collectively spent £43 billion on holidaying abroad. Unfortunately, when many people return home they are are financially hit a second time when they find their property has been burgled.

In the UK, there is a burglary every 40 seconds and, to add insult to injury, most burglars don’t get caught and most possessions aren’t returned to the owner. In fact, for every 100 burglaries committed, the police make just 14 arrests.

Homes with no security measures in place are five times more likely to be burgled. Putting appropriate preventative steps in place really is the most effective way of protecting your property and allowing you to enjoy your holidays without worrying about home security. From double locks to the light switch trick, we’ll talk you through the crime prevention methods you can take to make sure you don’t have anything else to worry about while sunning yourself on holiday.

 

Lock up properly 

Almost 400,000 homes are burgled each year. In London, crime is particularly high; the top 10 most burgled postcodes all lie within the capital. There are many methods you can implement in order to prevent burglary, but there is no substitute for high quality locks.

To make the entirety of your premises as secure as possible use heavy duty padlocks for outdoor sheds, keeping valuables away from windows and getting in a monitored intruder alarm system installed by a professional certified installer.

Police advise properly locking all doors and windows when you leave the house, whether you’re heading to the Bahamas or potting around the garden. Hide ladders, tools or anything that might assist the burglar breaking in or out of your home.

 

Make it seem like you’re home

The truth is that burglaries tend to be an opportunistic crime. Although you can’t completely eradicate the possibility of being burgled, you can take simple steps to protect your home, even when you are out of the country.

The old trick of leaving the lights on is not only costly and environmentally unfriendly, but it doesn’t usually work. If your house lights are blazing all day and night, it could even alert potential burglars to an empty home. Instead, channel your inner Kevin Mcallister and use a light switch or music timer. Some people even go as far as buying a fake TV, a timed device that emanates the sound of a television.

Find a trusted friend or family member to frequently check the house. Alternatively, you can get your home routinely checked by professional guards who can make sure every window and door is properly locked, tidy away visible mail, and even empty your bins. You could even consider stopping your mail altogether. The Royal Mail Keepsafe service will hold your mail for 66 days if you’re away from home.

 

Don’t advertise your holiday

Who better to turn to for advice in preventing burglary than burglars? In an article posted in the Metro, burglars listed things that put them off robbing a house, including hiding expensive objects and not advertising your holiday snaps on social media. That means no posting your beach pictures until you’re back home; 45% of burglaries happen when nobody is home, and a study has found using social media on holiday are putting holidaymakers at risk.

 

Discussing the study, crime prevention expert Alex Iszatt warned holidaymakers that “criminals can get a good idea about where you live and use street view to find the best way into your property. Turn off location-sharing features, update your privacy features and stop broadcasting to people who aren’t in your group of friends”.

 

So just remember that whether you‘re showing off a weekend away or the trip of a lifetime, you could be advertising your empty house too. The most effective weapon against preventing burglary is common sense. With these simple steps in place you can concentrate on more important matters. Cocktail, anyone?

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