Securing your home
According to the Office of National Statistics, a burglary occurs every 40 seconds in the UK, and 43% of those crimes are carried out when a property is unoccupied.
Below are some steps you can take that will help to ensure your home is protected:
- Motion Activated Lights
If you have one, set up a timer for lights, and have illuminate when anyone comes close to your property, which can be a big deterrent for would-be thieves.
- Alarm Systems & Security Camera’s
A home alarm system is one of the top ways to deter burglars from targeting your home. Make sure your alarm company has a fast response time, and consider whether you want the police automatically notified of an alarm event. Security cameras work as a deterrent because thieves don’t want to be filmed. However, while it is useful to have cameras visible, it is equally important to make sure the cameras are positioned in a place where they give you a good viewing area, while not being easy to tamper.
- Safe & Secure
In the event that a thief does breach your perimeter security, have your most precious valuables safely secured in a fireproof safe. Bolt the safe to the floor; otherwise a strong burglar could cart it out.
- Visible Window & Door Locks
Burglars get into your home via the door or window, so providing a first-line deterrent like visible (and sturdy) locks is a step toward security.
- Outside areas
Make sure all garages, sheds and outside buildings are secured with locks and padlocks. The same goes for gates and other points of entry; check all fences are sturdy and holes blocked. Additionally, ensure that you are sufficiently covered for the items kept in these locations.
- Lock Your Doors
This is so simple but many people fail to lock their doors. Lock up every time you go out, obviously, but also keep the doors locked when you’re home – and especially at night. Ensure that all doors, including doors to the garden or shed, are fully locked. Shut and lock all windows, especially small windows in the bathroom or round the back of your house. Don’t leave keys to the window nearby or in sight.
- Move your post
Visible piles of unopened letters or a newspaper sticking out of the letter box are sure signs that someone’s away. Cancel any newspapers being delivered and ask a trusted neighbour to move your post out of sight. The Royal Mail also offers a Keepsafe service, which will hold on to your post for up to 66 days and deliver them once you’re back.
- Keep curtains and blinds open as normal
Don’t draw all the curtains in your house, as this wouldn’t look like someone was living there during the day. Keep your blinds and curtains open and simply move expensive items out of direct sight instead.
- Don’t advertise your vacant home
Make sure that only people you know and trust are aware of your holiday plans. If you announce your plans to unknown people, they could use the information for an organised burglary. For example, don’t say you’re ‘away’ on your home or mobile answer machine and consider how you talk about your holiday on social media. If you don’t have high security settings on these sites, you don’t know who could see that you’re away.
- Good neighbour
Tell a trusted neighbour that you’re going away, so they can keep an eye on your property. If you’re on good terms with your neighbour, they may even water your plants, put out the rubbish bin or check up on the property every now and again too.