Summer is upon us which means holiday season is in full swing. We all love going away, but doing so and leaving your house empty for a period of time can bring with it certain risks. The last thing anyone wants when they go away is to come back after a great holiday and find their home has been damaged, vandalised or even burgled. Shockingly, it happens a lot.
According to a recent study, 816,000 British homes are burgled whilst the homeowners are on holiday. So, what can you do to protect your property whilst you’re away? Here are four tips that can help to deter thieves and ensure your house is exactly as you left it when you went away.
1. Avoid Social Media
It seems our entire lives are lived on social media these days. Whether you’re enjoying a day out, receive a surprise gift or are on holiday, it’s second nature to want to post the highlights of your life online for friends and family to see. If you’re serious about keeping your home safe whilst you’re away, it’s important that you try and break out of the shackles of social media – at least until you’re home.
A lot of people have loose security settings on their social media profiles, and that makes it easy work for thieves to identify who is and isn’t home, and which houses are viable targets. If you do want to post online whilst you’re away, make sure you have secure settings and trust everyone on your friends list entirely. If you wouldn’t trust them alone in your house, why show them that no one is there?
2. Get a House Sitter
The best way to protect your home against intruders is to get a house sitter. If you have pets or plants that need looking after, you will likely have one anyway. Perhaps you could convince them to stay over? A lot of people get their neighbours to put the lights on at certain times and draw/undraw the curtains, but this is like a green light to burglars that no one is home. Would you leave your lights all night at any other point? Do you have a curtain routine at any other time of the year? The answer is probably not, and that means this ‘deterrent’ method is unnatural.
The best way to deter thieves is to make it look like someone is home, and the only real way to do that is to have someone at home. If you can convince a friend or family member to stay over by providing a fridge full of food and a good souvenir from your travels, do.
3. Fit an Alarm
Having an alarm system installed at your home is good practice and is advisable at any stage, but more so if you’re not there and can’t find anyone to housesit for you. We’d all love to have mobile security patrols, but due to costs and practicalities, it’s not possible. The next best thing is an alarm. There are several types to suit all budgets and properties, meaning you’re sure to find a solution for you. Some systems alert the authorities when suspicious activity is detected, so if anyone does break in or your home’s security is compromised, you can rest assured that there is a real person looking at the situation and who will be able to help.
4. Hide Valuables
The final step to keeping your house safe whilst you’re on holiday is to lock up your valuable and most precious items – even if you have a house sitter, have fitted an alarm and haven’t posted your holiday online. Most thieves won’t try and take things like TV’s and mobile phones because they’re cheap enough to buy. Instead, they’ll go for identification documents. Before you leave, hide your paperwork, cherished jewellery and other sentimental items in a locked safe. This way, if your house does get burgled, anything that is taken is replaceable.
Keep these tips in mind and you can rest assured that whilst you’re sunning it up, everything at home will be ticking over just as you left it and your house will be kept safe.
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