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Home Security while on Holiday
Have you taken adequate safety precautions to secure the contents of your home while you are on holiday? Crime statistics show that around 50% of all burglaries occur when a house or a flat is unoccupied.
The Risks of Leaving Your House Unguarded
Going on holiday is an annual occurrence for most people and much time is given for preparation for the trip. However, how much time do you spend on securing your property and possessions to ensure that you don’t return home to any nasty suprises such as a burgled house? It is vitally important that you consider the risks of leaving your home unattended for so long and implement precautions, some of which are quite simple, so that your home is left as secure as possible. This can be achieved by planning your home security ahead of your holiday.
A Few Simple Guidelines
- Tell a member of your family, local friend or trusted neighbour that you plan to go on holiday and inform them of the details of your holiday such as when you are leaving and when they can expect you to be back in the house. Ask them to carry out day-to-day tasks such as keeping the garden clean or going into the house every day to make it appear that the house is still occupied and being used and maintained. Always leave your contact address and/or telephone number with the person you are entrusting with the caretaking of your home. Be prepared to offer these people the same courtesy when they are planning their holiday.
- Cancel delivery of milk or newspapers. This way potential intruders will not be alerted to your absence by the build-up of milk and newspapers on your doorstep. Royal Mail offer a 'KEEP-SAFE' service whereby they will hold on to your mail whilst you are away so that potential thieves will not see mail left in the letterbox or on the floor if they peek through your letterbox, take note though they need 5 DAYS notice of this service!
- If a potential intruder wants to check if someone has left their house unoccupied, one way they can do this is to look through the letterbox to see if there is a build-up of post lying on the floor by the door. To avert this, either ask the person looking after your house to collect the mail and put it out of sight of prying eyes or use The Royal Mail's 'Keepsafe' service which will keep your mail for you while away. Alternatively, if your holiday takes you to somewhere in the UK and you would prefer to receive your mail, you could always give people the address of a Post Office near your destination and pick up your mail from there. This service is usually available abroad as well.
- Security Timer switches are a great idea for holiday security. They usually work as a plug socket adapter with a timer built in. The timer runs so long as the adapter is plugged in and the plug socket switched on. The timer can be then set to automatically give power to anything that is plugged into it such as lights, radios or other appliances. This gives the appearance that someone is in the property and helps to deter burglars. You could also invest in a Remote Phone Switcher which allows you to dial in to your home telephone and instruct the unit to turn activate whatever appliance is plugged into it..
- Before you leave ensure that valuable equipment, such as your TVs, videos, DVD Players or Hi-Fi equipment is placed where it cannot easily be seen from the outside. If the TV and Video are situated in a TV cabinet, close the doors of the cabinet before you go.
- Check your window security measures. 30% of all burglaries start with an unsecure window as an entry point. If need be, fit window locks. You may only be going a away for a week or two but our range of window locks will provide security for your house whenever you leave it and are considered a good precaution to have all the time.
- Try not to discuss holiday plans in public places where strangers may hear details. You never know who may be listening.
- Never put your full home address on your luggage when you are travelling. The smarter thief may be able to tell from this that you are away and have full details of your home. A name and postcode is sufficient.
- If there are valuable documents or items that you are leaving in your house while away. Either place them in a safe or take them to your bank who will gladly deposit them in their own safe while you are away.
Home Security taken care of? Ready for the Airport? Wait a Minute....
Just before you leave for your holiday, do a last minute check to ensure all windows and doors are locked including garage doors, side gates and sheds. Turn on the wireless burglar alarm if you have one. Make sure all of the above points have been considered. Maybe create a checklist for this last minute check and and tick off each area of security that needs checking as you go along.
With all this taken care of, have a great holiday and relax in the knowledge that you have implemented all these home security measures!