When you’re trying to enjoy a relaxing break away from home over the festive season, the last thing you want to be worrying about is the security of your house while you’re away.
By taking a few simple precautions, you can significantly reduce your chance of coming home to a nasty surprise.
Here are 10 simple and practical ways to secure your home while you’re away on holidays.
Don’t post it – As tempting as it is to tell all your Facebook and Instagram friends about the wonderful holiday you’re going on, it’s best to keep it under wraps. This includes posting holidays snaps while you’re away (save it for your return). You never know who else is watching. In fact, a recent survey conducted by a team of security experts revealed that 78% of ex-thieves interviewed said they strongly believed social media platforms are being trolled by today’s thieves to help determine which properties to target.
Tidy the garden before you go – Nothing says vacant house like unkempt lawns and nothing pleases burglars more than a home shrouded in overgrown shrubs to hide their activities.
Timed lights and motion detectors – Light timers are a cost effective addition to your household security at all times, not just while you’re away. To conserve energy, attach the timer to one or two lights at the front and rear of the home. It is also a good idea to install a motion detector to a light near your front door to deter unwanted guests.
Ask a neighbour or a friend to collect your mail and bring in your rubbish bins – An overflowing mailbox and empty bins by the roadside for days are a real giveaway that there’s nobody home. It’s also a good idea to leave a key with a friend or trusted neighbour in case of emergencies.
Ensure your garage is secure – If your garage is one that automatically opens by remote control, it is a good idea to switch off the power source so it can’t be opened by a thief with a universal remote control device. Many garages have internal access into the house so garages that are easy to enter are a burglar’s dream as it allows them easy undisturbed and unseen access.
Secure all windows and doors – Windows and screen doors are a favourite access point for home thieves, so make sure yours have good locks. Fit security screens where you can and consider placing a wooden rod or metal bar in the track of your sliding windows and doors, so that even if the locks are picked, the thief still can’t slide them open.
Lock up your storage shed – most sheds contain a number of items that a thief would love to get their hands on, even if only to give them some tools to help break into the house.
Consider installing a home security system – there are some very advanced home security systems on the market these days. If you live in a high risk area, a home security system is well worth the investment.
Put away your hidden spare keys – Many people hide a spare house key in the garden or under a mat. But thieves know all the spots and are very good at locating even the best hidden spare key.
Check your contents insurance policy – Taking precautions to secure your house can make a big difference. However, if the worst happens, you need to be prepared! Check your policy to ensure it is valid and that your cover is sufficient.
Now go and have fun!