Taking a Holiday? Protect Yourself From a Burglary!
It’s been reported that a burglary will take place in the UK every forty seconds. That’s a scary statistic to contend with – especially if you are dreaming of jetting off somewhere extraordinary and exotic this year. Whether it’s a short break to escape winter’s imminent chill, or a prolonged hiatus to uncover and explore far flung lands; you should feel confident that your home is secure and safe while you’re away. So if you’re taking a holiday this winter, be burglar savvy; it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3, (4 and 5!)
1. Don’t Advertise or Publicise
In today’s day and age, you will most certainly feel the urge to share your holiday excitement over numerous social media platforms (a Facebook check-in, an over-enthused tweet, an obligatory Instagram snap…) because, you know, everyone shares these days – right? BUT, your friends and family may not be the only people who take an interest in the information you choose to share. A large number of thieves and potential burglars are known to scout social media pages to look for hints on empty homes, so it’s best not to take the risk.
2. Trick the Eye and Mind
Make sure to notify any type of delivery service that may leave items by your door while you’re away. The very last thing you need is a build-up of old newspapers and milk cartons acting as a flag for vacancy! Likewise, if you have a window close to your letter box make sure to disguise visibility using a drape or well-placed plant pot – a post-pile up will be a guaranteed giveaway. If it’s a real concern, you can take advantage of the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ scheme designed to protect your home and identity while you’re away.
3. Recruit Back-Up
Speaking of post-pile up – it may be an idea to ask a trusted neighbor (or a nearby family member / friend) to check in and collect it for you every few days. This will ensure suspicion doesn’t mount and will provide an opportunity for your trusted advisor to check that everything is as it should be. Though not always possible, you may even have someone who can stay in your home whilst you’re away – taking care of all concern and potential anxiety (and if you’re lucky, a household chore or two!)
4. Lock It and Light It
Make sure to lock and secure every entry and take particular note of windows, as these can often be forgotten. Do not overlook the security of your garage or garden shed either; each may contain an array of effective tools, which a thief can take and use for their own gain. With this in mind, keep your tools stored away and provide both doors with an advanced security lock or bolt. Duly, light is a great trick to make use of. Perhaps invest in a few automatic light timer switches both inside and outside (or wherever has the best effect) to fool passers by into thinking someone is around.
5. Hide It
According to a study by confused.com, over half of people do not leave their valuables in a safe place – so try your best not to leave any out on display! It may be worth moving bigger items like the TV or stereo out of sight (you should unplug them anyway, as this will save energy and will protect your items from a surge in power.) To hide smaller items like jewellery and costly gadgets (tablets, fit bits, iPods and the like) perhaps invest in a safe and securely fix it to a solid surface – simply hiding them away in a draw may be too much of an obvious ploy for an experienced thief.
Feature image credit: Sensay/Shutterstock