Making your home safe when you are on holiday

Everyone looks forward to a break away whether you’ve got a staycation planned or if you’re jetting off further afield somewhere exotic. And there’s always so much to organise; packing, travel tickets, passports, the list goes on but there is one really important element to consider when you’re planning a trip away and it involves probably the most expensive asset you own. Your home.

There are over one million burglaries and attempted burglaries each year. Homes with no security measures in place are on average 5 times more likely to be burgled than those with simple security measures.

An experienced thief might walk around neighbourhoods during the darker hours, noting which properties look unoccupied and then return at the same time for the next few nights running, trying to determine who could be away and which property looks like an easy target.

So, here are our top tips for protecting your home and reducing your risk of being burgled:

  1. Make your home look occupied when you’re not there.
  • Leave lights or music in your home on a timer. If you can, set these to different times each day.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour to clear post or parcels from your front door every day, at a different time of the day. Not only does this prevent the chance of post sticking out of your letterbox or parcels left on your doorstep for days, it also looks like there is someone coming and going from your property.
  • See if a neighbour could park their car on your drive overnight occasionally whilst you are away.
  • If you are away for a longer period of time, organise for someone to come and cut your lawn.

 

  1. Make it too risky for a burglar to target your home.
  • Install security lighting particularly in areas where tall trees or high fences could provide cover for a thief.
  • Fit deadlocks to your doors to make it harder for a burglar to pick a lock.
  • Most break-ins happen at the back of a property. Check how easy it is to gain access and put locks on gates to make it difficult for would-be-thieves to gain access.
  • Invest in a burglar alarm and CCTV cameras from a reputable company. Seasoned burglars can quickly tell which home security system is genuine and which is nothing more than a rusty old fake.

 

  1. Remove any obvious temptation
  • Hide all keys and valuables from view of ground floor windows. This includes portable electronics, jewellery or identity documents.
  • Don’t post on social media that you are away.
  • If you have neighbours you trust, let them know that you are away so that they can keep an eye on who is coming and going from your property. A would-be thief will often take a closer look at your property before deciding to attempt to break-in.
  • Hide/lock away all tools or anything a potential thief could use to help them gain access to your property.

 
All of these hints and tips should help to make your home less of a target, but technology now means that you don’t have to wait until you are home to see what has happened to your property during your absence.

Installing a CCTV system brings you the peace of mind of being able to check up on your home at any time you choose, plus the added benefit of being a strong deterrent to any would-be thief. Not only are the CCTV cameras visible to any potential burglars, but they can also record continuously for up to 30 days, even during the night thanks to infrared night vision. High-resolution images can be saved and transferred for use elsewhere if needed, should you spot any suspicious activity or used as evidence if you do suffer a break-in.

So, spend some time planning how you protect your home before your holiday and then enjoy a well-earned break.

Why should I pay for a maintenance contract?

Secure One Home and Business Security Maintenance

Why would you invest in a home security system to protect your most valuable asset and then leave it without servicing and maintenance? How can you be sure that it is going to work when you really need it if you haven’t done anything to ensure everything is working as it should?

Most people have a home security system installed and everything runs so smoothly with it for the first few years that they simply see a maintenance contract as an unnecessary cost. No news is good news, right? Wrong. Behind the scenes, your home security system is subject to wear and tear and sooner or later it will let you know that it’s in trouble. Often very loudly, at 2am.

 

Emergency call outs are expensive and stressful.

The battery in your alarm will fail eventually. You often won’t know this has happened until you have a power cut or a surge and your battery tries to provide the power to keep your burglar alarm running, only to find that it doesn’t have enough charge and then the alarm will sound. If you don’t have a maintenance contract and the alarm sounds in the middle of the night, you could find it very difficult to find a local supplier who will come to you quickly. If, after multiple phone calls, you do manage to find someone, are you sure they are a reputable company and that they are familiar with the type of burglar alarm you have? On top of all that stress, be prepared to pay a hefty emergency call out fee.

By paying for a regular service on your home alarm as part of a maintenance contract, you reduce the risk of technical failure and general wear-and-tear on parts that are exposed to the weather 24/7 on the exterior of your house.

So, what are you paying for?

By taking out an annual maintenance contract with Secure One, you are ensuring that your home alarm system is fit to do the job it was installed to do. Our highly trained engineers will attend your home, at a time and date convenient to you, and:

  • Check installation, location and siting of all equipment against specification
  • Check operation of all detection and hold up devices
  • Check tamper detection
  • Check mains and standby power supplies (batteries) including charging rates
  • Check control unit for correct operation setting unsettling entry-exit procedure
  • If applicable, check remote communication channels are working and set up correctly
  • Check all audible warning devices and alarms devices for correct operation
  • Check environmental conditions for adverse effects
  • Carry out visual inspection for potential problems
  • Check system is fully operational
  • Check system is returned to day mode
  • Rebadge bell box if required
  • Provide a report to you

 

 

Should you experience a fault with your alarm system whilst you have a maintenance plan, our engineers are on hand to respond to your call, 24/7, with no charge for call outs or alarm repairs. Plus, you will receive preferential rates off any parts.

Committing to an annual service and maintenance contract on your home alarm system may earn you a discount off your home insurance (depending on your insurer). But don’t be tempted to claim a discount if you don’t have an annual service. Without an annual inspection report you could find that your home insurance company refuses to pay out if the worst should happen.

So, afford yourself some peace of mind for as little as 31p per day and sign up for a maintenance plan with Secure One.

 

Help! I’ve bought a property which has a Secure One alarm. How does it work?

Secure One Home and Business Security Visual deterrent

Firstly, don’t worry. We understand that moving is stressful enough, without worrying about how (and if) the alarm system already installed in your new home works.

Having a working intruder alarm is a strong deterrent against burglary, so if you’re keen to find out how to get your alarm up and running, the first thing to do is to give us a call on 0800 085 4242 or email sales@secureone.co.uk. We will talk you through your options and try to identify what type of alarm you have inherited. If the previous owners have left you any paperwork, it might be handy to have that information close by.

Once we have established what type of alarm you have and how old it is, we can talk you through what protection you would like your home alarm to offer. It may be that the alarm already installed is quite old and long overdue a service, or that newer technology is available as an upgrade. Perhaps you would like to link a smoke detector to your alarm system to further enhance your level of protection, or even that you have pets and would like to incorporate pet immune detectors into your existing system so your pets can have the run of the house*.

With a 5 Star Feefo customer service rating and a Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award, you can be sure that you are in safe hands. We’ll give you all the information you need to know and, if you are looking to upgrade, a no obligation quote. We fully comply with NSI and NICEIC standards meaning the quality of workmanship and service will be to a high level. Don’t worry; there will be no pushy sales, just good old honest advice from a company with over 30 years’ experience.

However, if you decide that you don’t want to use your inherited alarm system, we would recommend having it professionally decommissioned by us. Simply not using it will not avoid a nasty surprise when the alarm bell sounds once the battery eventually fails and you are subject to a power cut or surge. If you don’t have a maintenance contract and the alarm sounds in the middle of the night, you could find it very difficult to find a local supplier who will come to you quickly. If, after multiple phone calls, you do manage to find someone, are you sure they are a reputable company and that they are familiar with the type of burglar alarm you have? On top of all that stress, be prepared to pay a hefty emergency call out fee.

We’re here to help take the stress away from your home protection, so give us a call on 0800 085 4242 and you can get on with the job of enjoying your new home.

*Pets under 24kg only