Don’t let the safety of your home worry you while you’re trying to relax on the beach. Instead, take note of our tips and keep your home secure.
The joy of going away is often marred by concerns about leaving your precious home empty, even if just for one night or a few days. These worries are not unfounded. More than 80% of break-ins occur when a house is unoccupied. It’s easy for an opportunistic intruder to tell if someone is in or not. The house may be uncharacteristically in darkness or post might be left sticking out of a letterbox. As a quick solution, it’s easy to take some simple measures that will make your house look lived in while you’re gone.
- Don’t be tempted to leave a light on. This may be effective during the evening but will look highly suspicious during the day. Instead, invest in some automatic timer switches and use them for turning on a few well-appointed lights and even a radio or TV. Most on the market can be programmed to come on at pre-set or random times.
- Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your place. They don’t need to have a key. It will be enough for them to remove flyers and free newspapers and perhaps keep a look-out for suspicious cold-callers. Get them to park their car on your drive or outside your house if possible. For the price of a bottle of duty-free wine or a bunch of flowers it will be worth it.
- If you tend to receive a lot of post, check out Royal Mail’s Keep-Safe Scheme, whereby they will hang on to your deliveries for anything up to 66 days.
- Don’t close your curtains. It’s tempting to ‘hide’ away all your possessions but it will attract attention during the day and provide cover should anyone manage to gain access to your property.
- Make sure your garage is secure. This not only prevents expensive items such as bikes and lawnmowers from being stolen it means any would-be intruder can’t access ladders or tools to make their job easy.
- Never be tempted to use social media to announce your holiday plans. It won’t just make your friends green with envy, it’ll leave any burglars tickled pink at the tip-off.
- Even if you’re up and out at the crack of dawn, never load your car with luggage the night before. It can act like a calling card. And, if you must put your name and address on your luggage tags, make sure no-one has access to these details.
- Unplug all electrical devices, especially laptops, tablets and TVs which tend to ‘blink’ when left unattended.
- Patio doors have always been a cause for concern often regarded as an easy point of entry, but there are now state-of-the-art designs available which incorporate the latest in security locks.
For long-term peace of mind there are more rigorous, failsafe measures you can take. Your greatest weapon against a burglar is time. The more barriers you have in place, such as fences and secure windows and doors, the less attractive your home will be.
- Invest in a burglar alarm. If you have one already, make sure it’s regularly tested and up to standard.
- Locked uPVC windows are a fantastic deterrent to intruders as they are virtually impenetrable. Double-glazed windows in themselves are strong and robust and encased in tough, resilient frames are like protective armour for your home.
- A uPVC door offers the utmost not only in style but privacy and protection too. A composite door will offer good looks and durability as well as a supreme level of security.
- Many people give great thought to their front door but pay little heed to the rear of a property. A top-quality uPVC back door will not only look beautiful but will serve to keep your home safe.
- In days of old, burglars would very quickly force a lock to gain entry. Now that has been made almost impossible with the technological advancements in hardware such as state-of-the art multiple locking shootbolt mechanisms and auto-latching handles
On a final note, if you are having any work undertaken, make sure the company you entrust it too are experienced, reliable, trustworthy professionals who will not only provide a 10-year, no-quibble, insurance-backed guarantee but will treat your most valuable possession with the respect it deserves.