Going on holiday - security advice
A very happy August to you all. I would say Happy Holidays, but that would just be annoying to those of us who aren’t going on any holidays this month. So Happy August it is. And for those of you not having a holiday this year whether through choice, economic circumstances or because you forgot to get your passport renewed in time, you can at least relax for the rest of this blog and feel relieved that some of the advice won’t apply to you. You should still read it though, clearly, as it’s both entertaining and information, plus most of the tips will also relate to day to day circumstances as well as just holidays.
But anyway, what is he banging on about now, I hear you ask? Because I have very good hearing, you know, even when people aren’t actually saying anything and I’m imagining it in my head. Well, simply speaking, I’m concerned about the security of your homes when you leave them for a week or two to jet off on holiday. Nothing brings you down to earth with a bang after a relaxing break like returning home to find someone’s broken into your house in your absence. So what can you do to try and reduce this risk?
Keep burglars at bay
Most tips I can give you all revolve around the same philosophy – to keep burglars unaware that the house is unoccupied. An empty house is a godsend to a burglar, and if they’re confident that no-one’s about to return home and interrupt their criminal activities, all the better for them. As I say, although I’ve put together these tips for the holiday season, many of them are applicable when leaving your house for a shorter period of time.
- Share your drive – If holidaying abroad, are you driving to the airport and leaving your car there? Or perhaps you’re holidaying in this country and taking your car with you? If so, there will be a noticeable absence on your drive for the time you’re away. Burglars notice changes in routine, and know a house with no car parked on the drive is far more likely to be empty than one with a car in situ. Why not be generous (albeit with an ulterior motive) and offer a neighbour the use of your drive for a week or two? It’s a win-win situation for you and them. There are also websites available where you can rent out your drive, but be careful of the security of these – you don’t want to end up inadvertently alerting a whole load of extra people that you’ll be away. Speaking of which…
- Take this as your regular reminder that burglars use the internet! So although you may think you’re only showing off your photographs of sunsets/beaches/unrecognisable food to your loved ones on Facebook, please CHECK your privacy settings. It may be that you’re publicly sharing these pictures, and with Facebook’s location settings, it’s going to be pretty obvious you’ve left an empty house at home. Restrict who you share this stuff with to trusted friends and family. Have a trawl through your Friends list too – anyone there you don’t recognise, a vague friend of a friend, living locally? Be sure that you know who’s seeing your posts. If you wouldn’t shout it out in the town centre, is it the best idea to be posting it on social media?
- Away from the internet, the old rules still very much have a place. Getting a neighbour to come in to pick up your post (as well as watering your plants)!) is always a good idea. If you have newspapers or milk delivered, ensure they’ve been cancelled for the duration of your holiday
- Whether you’re away for weeks, days or just an evening, it’s always an idea to give the impression someone is at home. This could be as simple as using electronic timers to switch lights on and off whilst you’re not there. It’s best to change the intervals– I learnt this after a milkman once commented that he wouldn’t bother calling on next door for payment as he could tell from the regularity of the lights going on and off that the occupant was away and had set their timer as usual. So mix it up a bit with them coming on and switching off at different times.
Following these tips will make it less likely that your return from holiday will be ruined by the realisation unwelcome visitors have been inside your house. You want to be sleeping off the jet lag, not dealing with police and insurance companies on your first day back.
As ever, for any locksmith in Barnsley advice or related query, please contact me on 07990 573857.