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Security advice before going on holiday

10th March 2018

Have we all finished digging ourselves out of the snow by now? That was all quite exciting, wasn’t it, but it seems we’re done now and the snow shovels can be put away into storage for another year. Now, the temperatures are rising and before you know it we’ll be facing Easter and Spring. Then it’ll be Summer, and if history has taught us anything, we’ll then be in Autumn and then back into Winter which is where we began. I may be getting a bit ahead of myself here, let’s rewind back to the Easter holiday season and thoughts of getting away for a few days. 

If you’re lucky enough to be going away for a week or so over Easter, this raises an issue that we’ve encountered before on these pages – the fact that you’ll be leaving your property empty. An unoccupied property is at far greater risk of burglary than when it is occupied. You being in your house is one of the best deterrents money can buy. Not that money can buy you of course… I expect. And I’m not judging you if it can, everyone makes their own life choices and that. Anyway, moving on from that awkwardness, I’ll go through a few tips that will help you make your home secure whilst you’re away.

Don’t tell everyone!

There will be some people you need to tell that you’re going away, as we’ll discover below, but for goodness sake, don’t broadcast the fact you’re going away all over social media sites. You just don’t know who’s looking at your page, and it’s known that burglars do scour local facebook profiles for this sort of information. At the very least, beef up your online privacy settings, but preferably keep your holiday quiet until you return. This applies to posting updates and pictures whilst on holiday too – yes, you may want to share information with friends and family but waiting until you’re back at home is the best option. 

Do tell someone!

I know, it may seem as if I’m contradicting myself immediately but this isn’t about telling everyone. It’s about telling just one person you completely trust, whether this be a family member, friend or neighbour. Leave a key with them in case there are any emergencies along with your holiday contact details in case they need to get in touch. Perhaps the promise of a bottle of something from duty free will also encourage them to keep an eye on your home whilst you’re away too, so at least someone will notice if something out of the ordinary happens. 

Cancel milk and deliveries

Not as many of us get milk delivered as we used to, but if you’re one of these customers, make sure you remember to cancel it for whilst you’re away. Otherwise at best you’ll come back to a doorstep of sour milk, or at worst, a house that’s been broken into due to the telltale sign that you were away. We can’t as easily get our post temporarily cancelled, but ensure you don’t have any big Amazon deliveries due, and perhaps lean on your keyholder and ask them to pop in to pick up any post that’s been delivered so that it doesn’t build up too much 

Lock, lock, lock the doors

As you’re reading this blog I’m assuming you’re fairly careful with home security and always lock your front door when you leave your home, but when you’re leaving it vacant for any period of time it’s well worth double and triple checking. This not only goes for your front door but any entry point – garage doors, side doors, patio doors, conservatory doors, not to mention any windows. Make sure that these are all locked and that the keys are also hidden away. Leaving a key in the door or window means all it takes is one smash of glass and a burglar can reach round, retrieve it and let themselves in within a matter of seconds. 

Create an illusion

Time for you to go all David Copperfield here. By which I don’t mean marry Claudia Schiffer, although feel free if you’d like to do that too. Rather, I’m talking about creating the illusion from the outside that there is someone in the house and not really hundreds of miles away. This can be done in a number of ways. Light timers are a good investment, so that lights around the house illuminate at certain times of the day. Vary the times a bit, as an observer will soon notice if they’re at the same time each day and will realise there’s no-one in. Allow a neighbour use of your drive as an empty drive for days on end when it’s normally in use is a sure sign the householder is away. If your absence is going to go on for several weeks, arrange for someone to mow your lawn and deal with your garden so it looks as if someone’s taking care of it. These little things can all create the illusion you’re still at home, and the burglar is more likely to go on to a different, easier target. 

Secure your valuables

The ideal scenario is your house is never broken into. However, if the worst occurs then we need to try to limit the damage and loss. If you have irreplaceable valuables – whether from a financial or sentimental point of view, try to secure these in a robust safe hidden away – we want to make it as difficult as we can for the burglar to get away with them. If you don’t have a robust safe, consider storing these items off site with someone you trust or use a secure storage facility for the duration of your absence. The latter comes at a cost, but if the items are of significant importance it might be an option to consider 

Hopefully those tips have been of use and not scared you into cancelling any holiday! We all deserve a break from time to time, and none of us want to come home to find we’ve been the victim of a burglary. A little bit of vigilance and forethought should help to reduce the chances of this.

 As ever, for advice on anything lock-related, or to enquire about repairs or replacements, call 07990573857

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