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Keep your house safe this summer

Exciting though it is that most of us are going to be taking the opportunity to get away on holiday, it is important that we don’t walk out of the door with the buckets and spades and forget to make sure that our homes are as secure as they can be.

Going on holiday

  • Don’t become a target for a break in

Social media posts of your holiday can give thieves all the information they need to know that you are away from home. Either wait until you are home to post those photos or change your settings to private.

  • Adopt the ‘buddy’ system

Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house, pick up any post or packages and even water the plants outside. You can then reciprocate when it’s their time to go on holiday.

  • Lighting timers and app controlled smart lighting

Even though it’s summer, invest in easily affordable timers which you can use with your indoor lights to ensure they come on for part of the hours of darkness. Cheap, simple and effective. Smart lighting both inside and outside is a more expensive addition, but an extra layer of security that can act as an effective deterrent.

  • Turn off your hot water/heating

Unless it’s a winter holiday and you need to keep the house and your pipework from freezing up, turn off or turn down your hot water and central heating. Saves money and reduces the likelihood of any water leaks or worse while you are away.

If you are not ready for a week or more away from homeand just want to make the most of the sunnier weather at weekends and enjoy a real staycation, it is still important to keep your property safe.

  • Windows and doors

Tempting though it may be when the weather is hot to ventilate the house to keep the house cool, open windows are a magnet for thieves, particularly at night. Better to be uncomfortable than robbed, so keep your downstairs windows closed at night.

  • Keep it locked

Spending time in the garden means that you might not hear signs of break in. Make sure access doors are kept locked.

  • Remove temptation

Many break ins are opportunist rather than part of some grand plan. Leaving valuables in plain sight near open windows – even cat flaps and letterboxes –  can give access and increase the likelihood of opportunist crime. It only takes a second to reach in and steal.

  • Burglar alarm

Not exactly original but highly effective as a deterrent, particularly against the opportunist thief. Seeing a large, coloured alarm box on a property will deter most opportunist thieves. Even a decoy alarm box has the power to deter.

  • Neighbourhood Watch

Your neighbours are your best defence. The Neighbourhood Watch Scheme has been a resounding success and if there isn’t one in your road, set one up. Not only will you get plenty of support from the police but also neighbours working for the good of the street or road in which you all live can cut the incidence of crime in your area.

Lastly, don’t forget to check your home and contents policy, particularly if you planning to be away for an extended period.

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