With summer holidays just around the corner, you maybe leaving behind your homes for holiday spots both near and far. Planning ahead and taking a few simple precautions to ensure security of your home could save unnecessary stress while on holiday.
Here's a few tips from a security company on how to keep your home safe while away.
Ask a neighbor to collect your mail
And to keep an eye out for any leaflets or newspapers left on your doorstep. A neighbor parking in your driveway also signals someone is home (and they will appreciate the extra car space).
Upgrade your defense
One of the more obvious tips is to make sure your security is up to date. Recent research found 60% of victims' security had been compromised due to a faulty deadlock or loose window frame that was easily jimmied open. Delaying intrusion is important. Particularly if an alarm is triggered and the would-be thief is racing against the clock before a responder arrives.
Don't help conceal a thief
Burglars like privacy. They can be deterred from targeting your house by establishing a clear line of sight from the house to the street. This encourages "natural surveillance" and makes your home a harder target. Remove any bushes or shrubs near and entrance that could help a thief be hidden from a passer-by's view.
Avoid climbing points
Criminals know that first-floor and above doors and windows are typically less secure than ground-level entry points. Toeholds such as external air-conditioners and (ironically) window grills can help criminals gain access to upper levels.
Monitor your home from wherever you are
Modern IP monitored security systems allow homeowners to arm and disarm their alarm system, remotely open doors for visitors and even view cameras from their smart phone wherever they are.
Don't advertise your valuables
If you have expensive items in plain sight you might as well be shouting "we have money!". Make sure to conceal any valuable or expensive items by keeping the blinds closed or moving them away from windows.
When discarding the boxes and packaging from this year's Christmas presents, carefully consider their visibility and put them out as close to rubbish collection day as possible.
Store valuables in a safe
The most common targets in a robbery are money and jewellery. By installing a quality safe in your house you can provide extra security for those more valuable items. Just remember, criminals know the bedroom safe likely has the jewellery in it. Consider using that as a decoy and installing a better safe somewhere they won't look.
Guard your keys
It is well known that you should not hide keys on the outside of the house. But you should also be aware of the risks involved when lending your keys to tradespeople and acquaintance's.
Keys are easily copied and can provide burglars with easy access to your property. Consider an electronic locking system or a "restricted key" system which makes this more difficult. If your house is broken into, immediately change the locks. Your insurer likely includes this in the policy.
Don't share your free house and cool gifts on social media
Stop over sharing. Posting photos of your wonderful holiday to social media might seem like a no-brainer but advertising that you're away from home can result in unwelcome visitors.
If you over share your private information to the public on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook or Twitter people will be able to easily compile data including where you live and when your house is free.
After taking the steps above, ensure your Home & Contents cover is adequate and inform the insurer if you are away for any length of time.