The school break is approaching, which is the ideal time to head on holiday with the family. If you’re going to be away for a few days, make sure you keep your home as safe as possible, so you don’t get a nasty surprise when you return.
Get a friend to help
Burglars hunting for an empty house to hit will look for signs that the owners are away, from piles of post and parcels left on the doorstep to empty drives or lights that go on at the same time every day.
Therefore, it is a good idea to give a key to a friend or relative that you trust so they can pop round every so often and make it look occupied. Ask them to open curtains, turn the lights on, take your bins out and put them back, move a car on to the drive, take in any deliveries and put the post out of sight.
Be clever when turning on your lights by investing in smart bulbs. These allow you to control the settings wherever you are in the world, so you can turn the lights on and off at different times of the day, instead of relying on a timer that does it at the same time.
Keep curtains looking the same
It might be tempting to close all the curtains or blinds when you’re going to be away for a few days. However, this is a good indicator that nobody is at home. Instead, leave some open, particularly in rooms where it would not be normal for them to be shut all day, such as the hallway.
Make sure you keep your valuables safe, and particularly out of sight of the windows. Sentimental or expensive items should be kept in a safe, while bigger possessions, such as laptops, can be spread in different areas around the house, so the burglar won’t steal everything of yours if he finds your stash.
It is also wise to leave a fake pot of valuables where it can be easily found. Put some money and some inexpensive items in one place, so they grab this and go.
“Given that most burglars are opportunists and their motive is generally to get in, get something of value and then get out as fast as possible, your intruder might be encouraged to leave after finding your fake hoard rather than ripping the house apart in the hope of finding the real deal,” Saga suggests.
The best way to ensure your house stays as safe as possible while on holiday is by fitting security measures, from lights with motion sensors to intruder alarms.
You could even invest in CCTV systems, so you can record footage of any suspicious activity, and even the burglary itself if someone does happen to break into your property.
It is also necessary to remind homeowners to make sure their doors and windows are locked. Metropolitan Police recommends reinforcing windows with laminated panels, fitting a guard to the letterbox or cat flap so a burglar cannot hook any keys or handbags through the opening.