Going on Holiday?

Going on Holiday?

October 12, 2022

How to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away

There’s nothing worse than coming back from a relaxing holiday to find that your home has been broken into. Unfortunately, burglaries do happen, and they often target homes that look empty or unoccupied.

So if you’re heading off on holiday, you will want to travel with the peace of mind that your home is safe. One of the key things is to disguise the fact your property is vacant – if burglars notice signs that suggest no one is at home, they will see this as an open invitation to try and get their hands on your prized possessions.

Tips to secure your home before you go on holiday

Once your holiday has been booked, start thinking about ways to keep your home safe while you’re away. If you’re flying from a local airport, get a taxi and leave the family car on the driveway. For longer trips, ask a friend or relative to move the car occasionally and re-park it facing the other way.

If you have any regular deliveries, be sure to cancel them before you go away. If you get milk or newspapers delivered, make sure you cancel them during your holiday. A build-up outside your home can be a telltale sign that no one is home, which could make your property a more attractive target for burglars. Also avoid posting comments about upcoming holidays on social media; burglars are increasingly searching social media to find empty homes during the summer holidays.

Secure the exterior

Walk around the outside of your home and think about possible points of entry. Is there a sash and case window beside a flat-roofed extension, or an ill-fitting side door into an integral garage? A garage or shed is often a target for thieves, as they know there may be valuable items stored inside. It may sound obvious but also double-check that all doors and windows are locked, even if you’re only going away for a few days. Burglars will often target homes that look easy to break into.

In terms of motion-based technology, burglar alarms and other alarm systems offer peace of mind. Dummy boxes are available too. Motion-sensor lighting in the back garden is highly recommended, and home security cameras are a deterrent to thieves and can offer valuable clues to police should someone break in. Before you leave, make sure they’re positioned correctly and are in full working order.

Make the house look occupied

There are various ways to make your home appear lived-in, even while it’s empty. Automatic timer-switches that turn on lights when it gets dark and set at random times will make your home look occupied. An illuminated house is far less likely to be burgled than an unlit one, and voices and music broadcast by radio stations will give the impression that people are at home. But don’t leave your lights or a television on all the time.

If you have a trusted neighbour, ask them to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. They can help to deter burglars by keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity and reporting it to the police. Arrange with them to collect your post while you’re away. Letters sticking out of a letterbox are often a sign that no one is home.

Remote-controlled appliances

App-controlled home devices provide an alternative to timers. There are plenty of ways to maintain the illusion of occupancy from anywhere in the world. Don’t forget closed curtains in the daytime are a giveaway. It might sound obvious, but avoid leaving valuable items lying around in plain sight when you’re not at home.

Don’t leave sets of car keys on a table beside the front door or jewellery displayed on a dressing table that will make smashing the bedroom window seem all the more appealing to a potential burglar. Also store anything valuable and portable out of sight, such as tablet devices and laptops. Look through the windows to see what’s visible from outside and move anything that might be tempting to someone peering in.

Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage.

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