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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.