The holiday security scenario. We’ve pretty much all done it, ran around the house last minute, have you packed your passport? Have you got your swimwear? Have I remembered to cancel the newspapers? Let’s go…only to find ten minutes down the road that niggling feeling…have I locked the door? Are all the lights off? Who cancelled the milk? Even the best of us with long checklists can have moments where we doubt ourselves. Some people may not worry about the same things but how important are they?
Here are our top ten tips for leaving for that ‘once in a lifetime’ holiday to try to avoid the return to everybody’s worst nightmare…a burglary!!!
1. If you can, get someone to house sit. This means you don’t have to worry about any issues for the entire duration of your trip. The house is occupied so is less attractive to a would-be thief.
2. If you have good neighbours or friends who can visit the house, simply by collecting mail or watering plants they can act as a great deterrent. Plus the house looks more lived in!
3. There are various products available on the market from simple plug type timers that allow you to plug in a device such as a lamp or radio, all the way up to the latest ‘smart home’ technology which allows you to control most electrical functions in the home via your smartphone. You can even answer your doorbell from abroad!!!
4. For those of us who still have a daily newspaper delivery or milkman visit, remember to cancel them for the duration of your holiday. Nothing says “I’m not home” quite like a soggy newspaper hanging from the letterbox or a couple of bottles of milk that has been attacked by the birds for the cream!!
5. I know how convenient it is to have that spare key tucked under the mat, however, guess where the unwelcome guest will look first! Never leave a key outside at your home, ask a friend or neighbour to keep one for you. This is especially important as if there is no evidence of forced entry your insurer may refuse to pay up.
6. It may be impractical to hide the entire contents of your home, but simple steps can help to make it less appealing. Net curtains can obscure the view to an outsider meaning opportunist thieves are less likely. Make sure that valuable jewellery is both correctly insured and stored away. There have been many incidents where the robbers head straight to the bedroom and rifle through jewellery boxes and bedside tables for valuables that can be quickly sold but not easily traced.
Make sure that vehicle keys are stored out of sight. Many people use a hidden safe or leave them with someone they trust. There has been an increase recently of homes being targeted due to the car on the drive. If you have a garage, use it for your vehicle while you are away at the very least.
8. Leading up to the departure date it is wise to check that your fences and gates are in good working order, with locks if possible. Have a look around your garden for any items that could be used to break into your home e.g. Ladders, tools, heavy ornaments. Place your bins behind the locked gate to discourage their use to climb into your garden or house. Check that any outside lights and alarms are working as they should.
9. However tempting it is to share your excitement and the full itinerary of your break, please do not make it common knowledge. It is too easy nowadays to post on a social media platform every last detail of how long your house will be empty for. It doesn’t take much to look through your personal pages and work out exactly where you live. Be mindful of security and about who has access to your personal information, check your security settings. It is always better to post on your return and upload as many pictures as you want!!
10. Give yourself plenty of time on the day of departure so you can make sure that all windows are closed and locked, timers are set, valuables are safely stored, and doors are properly locked. For further security advice we recommend you visit the Locksmith Southampton website.
Lastly, here at Locksmith Southampton we wish you a fantastic holiday and a safe return home.