We all like our holidays away from it all, nothing beats a care free holiday in the sun, does it?. We like our caravan so we don't know much about sun, it usually rains when we book a weekend away! Unfortunately though, when we are away we often have the security of our homes preying on our mind, which is why it pays to take simple steps before we leave.
Remember only 1 in 10 homes is broken into whilst the householder is on holiday, it means that there is a 90% chance that you wont get broken into. Better odds than the lottery! If we take sensible precautions then the risk reduces further.
Before you go
- Consider the Royal Mail Keepsafe scheme. They keep your mail until the date you are due back from your holiday. There is a small charge for this service.
- Cut the lawns and tidy the garden
- Ask a reliable neighbour to keep an eye on the property. Push through the free papers, open and close curtains.
- Buy a plug in timer. There are a variety of these about. Get one that the whole family can use.
- If you aren't taking the car, leave it secure on the drive. If you are then ask a neighbour to park their car on your drive.
- Cancel the papers and milk.
- Authorise someone to carry out repairs should the worst happen.
The obvious do's and dont's (or are they?)
- Do: lock all your doors and windows when you go out. Pay particular attention to the rear of your premises — a popular entry point for burglars.
- Don't: leave door keys in hiding places, such as under the doormat or in a flowerpot. Thieves know all the hiding places.
- Do: fit good quality rim and/or mortise locks to all external doors; use a 'deadlock' on the front door. Use mortise security bolts or key operated door security press bolts on the top and bottom of both solid wood and glazed back doors.
- Don't: leave windows open a few inches for the cat to get in or out. Burglars find this very useful too.
- Do: keep your shed and/or garage locked. Your tools are useful to the thief who wants to gain entry. If your garage has a communicating door with the interior of the house, secure it as another exterior door.
- Don't: leave ladders lying around. If you must keep them outside, padlock them to something secure so you are the only person who can use them.
- Do: close the curtains and leave a light on in a room (not the hall, no one spends the evening in the hall) when you are out for the evening.
- Don't: leave curtains and blinds drawn during the daytime; they attract the thief.
- Do: illuminate dark areas around your home. Remember burglars hate light.
- Don't: leave 'back soon' notes on display. Burglars love a written guarantee that the house is unoccupied.
- Do: make sure that your house and contents are insured.
- Don't: forget to permanently mark your valuables with your postcode/house number, and to display a sticker showing that you have done so. Marked property is less attractive to the thief and is harder to dispose of. Photograph all items of high value, record serial numbers of televisions, DVD players/recorders, MP3/4 players, computers and cameras etc. Have a ruler in shot so that the size can be gauged of the object.
- Do: leave a radio on with a talk programme on rather than music