Protect your home from a break-in when you head off on holiday
Learn our 8 security tips that will keep your house secure while you are on holiday
Empty houses full of Christmas presents make summer holidays a high-risk time for break-ins, and it takes just seconds for a thief to make off with your valuables.
To fool the casual observer into thinking you’re at home while you are actually away, try these simple techniques and safety measures.
1. Mow the lawn
An overgrown lawn can be a red flag that announces a house is unoccupied. Cut the grass before you leave and have a friend or lawn service do the mowing if you’re away for a long time
2. Lock it down
Deadlocks fitted onto all doors make entering and exiting a house difficult. They can also prevent intruders from carrying off larger items like a flatscreen TV
3. Light it up
Attaching sensor lights near potential points of entry can alert neighbours to suspicious visitors. It can also scare off those who thought they’d get in and out undetected.
4. Keeping a lookout
Even with the best locks, break-ins can still occur, so having a quality CCTV system can help police catch those responsible. The footage can even be used in court as evidence to prosecute the offenders.
Handy features to look out for include motion activation, night vision, multiple channels and a live link to a smartphone app.
If you can’t afford to fork out for a full surveillance system, setting up faux cameras can be enough of a deterrent. Mimicking the real deal, only you will know they aren’t recording.
5. Hide the mail
Investing in a lockable mailbox will protect personal information from criminals. Choosing a box with space for a package also prevents anyone stealing your online shopping goodies from your doorstep.
6. Sound the alarm
Limit the amount of time a thief has to search for valuables before the police or security company arrive by adding an alarm system to your home security strategy.
7. Water the garden
An uncared-for lawn and drooping plants can indicate a property has been unoccupied for a while. If you can’t impose on a friend to water for you, try out a tap timer.
8. Use timers
Potential offenders often drive by a home at night to check that it is empty. Putting the lights on timers can make it appear like someone is at home.
Add these tips to the pre-holiday protection list to reduce the risk of your home becoming a target.
LOCK THE SHED as garden and DIY gear is valuable and can also be used to break in to the house.
LEAVE A CAR parked in the driveway to make the house look occupied while you’re away.
LOCK AWAY VALUABLES such as laptops and cameras, which are easy to pawn, and hide keys. from boxes of gifts such as bikes or TVs aren’t poking out of the bin.
CHANGE THE LOCKS on a new home before moving in and ensure only those you trust have a key.
KEEP A LOW PROFILE on social media. Change your settings to private and don’t announce that you’re going away.