With the schools breaking up for the summer, a lot of people will be travelling on holiday over the next month. Holidays can be a great way to get out of the house, but if you are not careful you can leave yourself vulnerable to thieves. It is therefore important to ensure that your home is protected and secure before you travel.
Having lots of post on your doormat or parcels outside your house indicates to thieves and burglars that you are away. One way to prevent this is to ask a friend or a neighbour to regularly check that there isn’t anything hanging out of your letterbox or left outside your house.
Alternatively, give someone you trust the keys to your house so they can remove any post from sight.
Another option is to ask the Royal Mail to hold off delivering any post. Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will hold your post for up to 66 days while you are on holiday. However, it is important to remember that other mail carriers may still attempt to deliver packages to your property, meaning you may still want to ask someone to check that they haven’t left a ‘we missed you card’ in your letterbox.
One question many people wonder when they go away on holiday is whether they should close their curtains or leave them open.
Curtains that are left open or closed for a prolonged length of time often signal that the homeowner is on holiday. Therefore if you can’t ask someone you trust to open and close your curtains regularly, another option is to use sheers or blinds which can be partially closed to give the appearance that someone is home and prevent full view of your front rooms.
If you haven’t already got a burglar alarm fitted, it is a good idea to purchase one before going away. Alarms draw attention to any burglary, meaning they often deter thieves. Some burglar alarms can also notify the police of the break in.
Security Mark your Valuables
The Metropolitan Police are among those that offer Property Marking Products that you can use to mark your most valuable items. The following items have been shown to be the items most frequently targeted by thieves but you may also want to mark paintings, ceramics of other high-value items.
- Laptops, cameras and other electrical items (41%)
- Cash (33%)
- Jewellery (31%)
- Tablets, mobile phone and other gadgets (15%)
You can use plug-in timers to help appear as though someone is in the house, setting lights to come on and turn off at certain times each day, and even turning on other electrical items, such as your TV or radio.
Although it may be tempting to mention your holiday and post pictures on social media while away, be careful about what you post and who can see it. Posting statuses on some social media sites, such as Twitter, default to being public, meaning that anyone can see that you are away from home. Even if you have your settings set to private, remember that connections of anyone you tag will also be able to see that you are away.
Securing Windows and Doors
It is important to make sure that your windows and doors are secure when going away, as if your windows and doors are in bad condition or left unlocked, you leave your home vulnerable to thieves. Thieves are often reluctant to smash a window to gain access to a property, as the noise is likely to draw attention.
One way to protect your windows and doors is to ensure that secure locks are installed on all of your windows and doors. Ideally you should have a lock opposite each hinge, especially for larger windows. For wooden sash windows, you may want to boost the security offered by adding sash stops, which can only be opened slightly and not wide enough for would-be burglars to enter your property.
Maintaining your timber windows to a high level doesn’t just keep them looking great; it can also help protect your home from burglars.
If your windows are in a bad condition, you can have them refurbished or replaced. Refurbishing the windows provide a range of benefits alongside improving the security, such as: reducing rattles; improving insulation; and extending your window’s life.
If your windows are badly damaged or rotten it may be cheaper to have the windows replaced. At The Sash Window Workshop all our windows are bespoke, meaning we can replicate any design or pattern to fit your home. For a free, no obligation on-site survey of your property and quotation, please contact us on 01344 868 668.