Securing your home is vital in ensuring peace of mind when you go away on holidays. House burglaries are often opportunistic in nature, with intruders quickly assessing that no one is home and making their move. In addition to installing effective security doors and windows, there are several other things you can do to keep your property safe and sound when you’re not home.
Talk to your neighbours
This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to your neighbours if you haven't already done so. Once you're acquainted and you've built up a level of trust, let them know of your travel plans and ask them to keep an eye on your property, as well as collecting your mail so it doesn't pile up. It's also worth checking out the Neighbourhood Watch website and getting some information on your local group. You'll find plenty of other useful information on the website in relation to home security.
Consider getting in a house sitter
One of the best options for securing your home while away is to get a friend or relative to housesit. This covers a lot of bases in terms of security as well as addressing other maintenance issues such as looking after pets, cleaning, and mail and parcel collection. Be sure to keep the communication with your potential house sitter private as it's not a great idea to publicise your plans, so resist putting that shout out on Facebook.
Make the house look lived in
If you can't get someone to house sit then do all you can to make it look like someone is home. Plugging lamps, televisions and radios (tuned to a talk back station) into timers is an excellent way to deter intruders. Unplug any landline telephones — the constant loud ringing of a phone is a big give away of an empty house. If you can't get anyone to collect your mail then get in touch with your local post office to organise your mail to be held while your away. An overflowing mailbox is an obvious sign that no one is home. Similarly, it’s a good idea to have a gardener keep your lawn trimmed if you're going to be away for an extended period. Be sure to check the references of any trades people you may hire.
Be Security Conscious
There are many small things you can do to improve your home’s security while away:
- Don't leave keys under mats or in other obvious hiding spaces.
- It may seem obvious but double check all windows and doors are securely locked - many burglars gain access through unlocked or unsecured doors or windows.
- Be sure not to leave valuable items such as bikes unsecured outside and also secure anything of value inside.
- Storing valuables way from your home is a wise thing to do; alternatively look into lock boxes or safes. Burglars are often looking for small expensive items so don’t leave any phones, laptops, cameras or tablets lying around.
- Catalogue and identify: put together a list of serial numbers for any products that have them. Place engravings on items of value or consider using microdots, they’re a fantastic way of tracking stolen items.
Install security products
Security alarms are one of the best ways to secure your home. Many models now offer app integration, allowing you to monitor your home and make setting adjustments remotely. If you’re considering having an alarm installed just be sure to give yourself plenty of time for research and installation before your holiday.
Installing key locked windows and doors throughout your home is a not only a great way to make it harder for intruders to break in, it’ll also make it harder for them to get out. Again, make sure all keys are hidden or not in the home when you’re gone. This also applies for the keys of cars which may be left near the home - these are a prime target for burglars.
Finally, identify all possible access points to your home and consider upgrading any vulnerable areas. Best Doors has an extensive range of automatic access systems to help maximise the security of your garage. Additionally, look into the installation of secure doors and windows throughout your home, particularly if you have an older house.
By following the above steps you can greatly reduce the risk of break in while you’re not at home. Holidays are all about relaxing so plan ahead, get organised, then you can lock up and wind down.
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