Keep your house safe during the holiday season
Holidayseason is here, and it’s important that we don’t just walk out of the door with the buckets and spades in hand and forget to make sure that our homes and belongings are as secure as they can be.
Going on holiday
Don’t advertise you are away!
Take care when posting social media updates about your holiday – it’s easy to unwittingly give thieves all the information they need to know about when you’re away from home and for how long. Make sure your settings are set to private, and ideally wait until you’re home before posting those gorgeous holiday pics.
Adopt the ‘buddy’ system
Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house, pick up any post or packages and even water the plants outside. You can then reciprocate when it is their time to go on holiday.
Light timers and smart lighting you can operate from an app
Even in the summer, invest in inexpensive timers which you can use with your indoor lights to come on for part of the hours of darkness. Cheap, simple and effective. Smart lighting both inside and outside, a more expensive addition, but an extra layer of security, can also act as effective deterrent.
Turn off your hot water/heating
Unless it is a winter holiday and you need to keep the house and your pipework from freezing up, turn off/turn down your hot water and central heating. This can help to save you money and reduces the likelihood of any water leaks, or worse, whilst you are away.
Whether you are staying at home and just planning day trips or making the most of the sunny weather at weekends, here are a few more tips to keep your property safe.
Windows and doors
Tempting though it may be to open all of your windows and doors when it is hot to keep the house cool, it also is an open invitation to potential thieves, particularly at night. Better to be uncomfortable than robbed, so keep your downstairs windows closed at night.
Keep it locked
Spending time in the garden means that you might not hear signs of a break in. Make sure access doors are kept locked to avoid unwanted visitors.
Many break ins are opportunist crimes rather than part of some grand plan. Leaving valuables in plain sight near open windows, even near cat flaps and letterboxes increase the likelihood of opportunist crime. It only takes a second to reach in and steal.
Not exactly original but highly effective as a deterrent, particularly against the opportunist thief. Seeing a large coloured alarm box on a property will deter the majority of would be thieves. Even a decoy alarm box has the power to deter.
Your neighbours are your best defence. The Neighbourhood Watch scheme is highly effective at minimising crime, and if there isn’t one in your road, take the initiative and set one up, your local Police force should have useful tips and guidance on their website.
Check your buildings and contents policy
How long has it been since you reviewed your policy and what is covered? If you’re going away for an extended period of time, take extra care to make sure you are still covered.