We all love getting away from it all and taking a well-earned break now and then. However, it is always a great feeling returning to our own homes.
One in twelve burglaries occur when a homeowner is on holiday and with the rise in social media, it is becoming easier for thieves to determine when you are away.
The last thing you want to worry about while relaxing on vacation is the security of your home and possessions. Lawsure Insurance has provided these 10 ways to protect your home while away, to give you peace of mind and avoid any nasty surprises upon your return.
No Holiday Selfies
We’ve already mentioned social media and as wonderful as it is to connect with family and friends, you never know who can see your profiles.
Even with high online security settings, tagged photos can be seen by strangers. There has been a direct link between homeowners posting holiday photos in real-time and burglaries.
Police forces, The Government and the Financial Ombudsman have all issued a warning against posting holiday snaps.
This doesn’t mean you can’t eventually share your memories with those you are connected with, it’s just best to wait until you have returned home.
Invest in Home Monitoring
As technology has advanced, so has home security. You can now get security cameras and even doorbells that will live stream to your smartphone or laptop so you can keep an eye on your property wherever you are in the world.
These act as a great deterrent from potential thieves and if they are still brave enough to try and enter your property, motion detectors can alert you so you can contact authorities straight away.
Maintain a Routine
Most burglars are opportunists and their crime won’t be premeditated, however, some are and burglars could be ‘staking’ out your property for weeks or even months.
If you have regular maintenance, such as gardeners or cleaners, keep this routine while you are away. Not only will it give the appearance that you are still at home, but it will also mean your home is regularly checked on by someone.
Disconnect Automated Entrances
You may have a remote-controlled entrance to your home, most likely a garage door. You may be surprised to know just how easy these are to hack, especially by professional criminals.
Diable or disconnect these before you go away to ensure maximum security.
Leave a Key
Leaving a key with a trusted family member, friend or neighbour means they can periodically check in on your property. Not only can they water the plants and feed the fish, but they can also collect your post for you.
Burglars can peep through letterboxes easily and mounting piles of post is one of the first signs that a homeowner is away.
By clearing this up and placing it elsewhere will stop thieves knowing you are away.
Hold Your Subscriptions
Following on from piles of post mounting, make sure you place on hold any subscriptions such as magazines, newspapers or larger items such as monthly beauty boxes. This will help prevent an obvious sign you are not at home if they are left outside your front door.
Similarly, remember to cancel any milk or other deliveries. It is obvious when someone is away if they have a collection of full milk bottles on their doorstep.
Use a Safe
If the worst does happen and someone breaks into your home, utilising a safe is the perfect way to keep your valuables safe. Although these may be insured, many items such as jewellery have sentimental value that money can not replace.
If you leave passports or other ID at home, if you are not vacationing abroad, and these get stolen, it can be an incredibly arduous task getting them replaced so lock them in the safe.
If you are unable to use a safe, always remember the first place burglars will look for valuables will be the bedroom. Make use of less conspicuous areas such as food cupboards and bathroom cabinets where they are less likely to find them.
Use Sensor Lights
Using an outdoor sensor light is a great deterrent, even if criminals have already established you aren’t home.
Having a bright light shone on anyone who approaches your home can quickly cause panic and get them to leave as they are no longer safe under the cover of darkness.
It will also help to alert neighbours if anyone is on your property if you have let them know you are away and they see these lights being triggered, they are more likely to alert authorities
Make Your Security Obvious
If you do have a home security system, make it obvious to others. Signs stating your property is monitored by CCTV can quickly deter people from trying to break into your home.
If you have an alarm system, make sure it is fitted to the exterior of your property in an obvious place and any lights are always working to signal to the public it is there.
Don’t Leave a Hide-a-Key
There are many great new inventions that mean you can leave a spare key in a ‘safe’ place for emergencies.
But these make it easy to burglars to get into your home. Even products that are secured to your home with passwords of combinations can be broken into swiftly. Remember, if you have purchased mass-produced items, it is likely that burglars know about them and how they work and have mastered getting around the security of them.
The last thing you want to worry about when on holiday is if your own home is secure. To maximise your relaxation (what your holiday should be all about), even just following a few of these steps can help put your mind at rest and deter criminals from accessing your home.