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Going on Holiday? Secure Your Home!
03 August, 2008
Home security

It is important that you can sleep soundly at night know that that you have done your best to make your home and your family safe from criminals. There is an impressive list of products and services available to home owners. Most home owners know someone who has been broken into so it’s worth investing your time and money before the inevitable happens.

General Tips

In and around the garden there are many ways to deter burglars from breaking into your property. Laying a gravel path or drive makes a lot of noise when walked one. Add a few security lights and the burglars will soon be put off. If you have a garden wall or fence, you could paint it with anti-climb paint (by law you are required to display a sign warning if you use anti-climb paint)

Inside there are also a number of measures you can take. Invest in a Monitored alarm – as well as protecting your property through a 24 hour alarm monitoring station, having an NACOS alarm can also lower your insurance premiums. It’s worth getting professional advice about this to ensure you’re choosing the right technology for your home and lifestyle.

A high percentage of burglars enter a property through the front or back door. It is essential good locks are fitted on all doors and windows. When researching the different locks available with our contractors you will notice all external doors will be fitted with a mortice deadlock with a British Standard Kitemark. Our contractors will check your door surrounds to make sure they are study.

Remember the more concealed your property is the more favorable it will be to burglars. High walls, fences and thick high hedges separating property’s can be inviting to a potential intruder.

Even small precautions can help reduce being a victim of crime. Leaving the lights, TV or radio on, possibly using a timer will also give the impression that someone’s home.


Check list

  • During times you are away from your home it is advisable to use a timer for your internal lights.
  • Never leave your keys on a hallway table near the letterbox.
  • Make sure your ladders and tools are locked away, out of sight.
  • Do not leave expensive power tools inside the shed. Garden crime is becoming increasingly common.
  • Always secure your home properly, double checks all windows and doors are locked when you go out.
  • Join a Neighborhood Watch scheme, if one is not in operation talk to your neighbours and local crime prevention officer about starting one

Going on holiday?

Our homes are often at their greatest risk from burglary when we are away on holiday, but there are steps we can take to minimise by hiding signs of vacancy and leaving the property secure.

The High Risk of Burglary

Free newspapers stacked in the porch, curtains all closed, and an all round feeling of eerie calm - the longer a house is unoccupied, the stronger such telltale signals become, and the more apparent the emptiness is to the casual observer and, in particular, the burglar.

The burglar is on the look-out for properties that look unoccupied but lived in, and so readily pick up on these ‘empty house’ signals. House’s where the occupants are on holiday for a longer period are therefore at a high risk because they inevitably give off stronger signals.
Keep the Home Looking Occupied

Burglars like to go about their business unobserved and undisturbed and so very rarely target a property that might be occupied. Therefore the best method of deterring a burglar is not a burglar alarm or guard dog, but simply in making sure a house always looks like there’s somebody at home.

This is relatively easy to do if you’re just going out for the afternoon or evening – you might leave the radio on or a light – but not so simple when the family is off on holiday for a week or two. So although making a home appear a constant hive of activity may be beyond all but the most inventive people, everybody can make sure a house isn’t shouting out ‘occupants on holiday’ by avoiding any tell-tale signs of emptiness.

Tell-tale Signs

How is it obvious that a house’s occupants have gone on holiday? There are several key pointers:

  • The curtains are closed during the daytime, open during the night, or semi-open all of the time.
  • Post is stacked up in the porch or hasn’t been taken out of the letterbox.
  • Full milk bottles have been left outside untouched.
  • The lawn is overgrown.

The Friendly Neighbour

If you have a friendly trusted neighbour then you could ask them to keep an eye on your house and help make it look lived-in whilst you’re away, and perhaps reassure them by promising to do the same for them in return.

They could help by opening and closing the curtains, switching on lights in the evenings, collecting post, mowing the lawn and even perhaps by sometimes leaving their car on your driveway. Nevertheless it's sensible not to rely on someone for everything, and so it's best to cancel any milk or paper deliveries before departure and make use of Royal Mail's letter and parcel holding service.

Timed Curtains and Lights

If the neighbours are not too keen on the idea then timed lights and timed curtains might prove a good alternative. These useful electronic devices can be used to set particular times at which the lights go on and off and when the curtains open and close.

Basic Precautions Before Departure

Before leaving on your travels it is worthwhile taking extra care in checking that all doors and windows are locked securely, and if there is a burglar alarm that it is set.

If you have valuable items in the shed, such as bikes or tools, then it might be a good idea to store them in the house over the holiday period. Also, if there are any items of particular value in the house, such as important confidential documents, and there isn’t a safe, then it is worth leaving these things with friends or family.

 
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