Does the prospect of a holiday send your imagination spinning off into dreams of sun, sand, sea and…security.
Home security may not be top of most people’s list when they go away for their well-earned break but the prospect of returning to a burgled home can turn anyone’s holiday bliss into holiday hell. Of course, with the right insurance policy in place, you should find that a call into your insurer will help you replace your stolen valuables. But, as the old adage says, prevention is always better than cure.
Think like a burglar?
It may seem odd, but looking at your home from a burglar’s perspective can help indentify weak spots in protecting your home. Burglars tend to be opportunists who look for the home that offers the fewest amounts of deterrents – any home that looks unoccupied and unsecure is going to be very tempting. A burglar will look out for two key things:
Does it look like you’re out?
- Milk bottles or parcels on the doorstep
- Newspapers and mail in the letter box
- House unlit after dark
- All windows shut in very hot weather.
Does your house look easy to get into?
- Side gates open
- Accessible windows open
- Ladders left out, allowing access to otherwise inaccessible windows
- Garden tools available to force entry
- Untrimmed hedges or high fences preventing natural surveillance.
Making your home look less attractive
Putting in some relatively simple but effective measures may well make the difference between making your property a safe heaven and one of temptation.
- Always remove all keys from inside locks. Keep them out of sight and in a safe place
- Mark your property – having it marked helps police verify it’s been stolen
- Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick – thieves know to look there first
- Keep your tools and ladders securely locked up – a burglar could use them to get into your house
- Install timers which switch lights or radios on and off automatically
- Cancel the delivery of milk and newspapers
- Disconnect the telephone answering machine, or re-word your greeting message to give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer
- Enlist the help of a neighbour, friend or relative to keep a regular eye on your property and keep the front door clear of deliveries
- Set your burglar alarm. If you do not have an alarm, consider investing a few pounds in a dummy alarm box. It may well deter the opportunist thief
- Where possible, try to keep valuables out of sight from windows.