Now the school holidays are here, many families will be taking a well-earned break for a couple of weeks. For some, that will mean relaxing in the sun with a Pina Colada, while others pack up the caravan and head for the coast.
After working so hard for months on end, you can hardly be blamed for focusing on nothing other than your imminent holiday. However, it may be a good idea to take a breather and give some consideration to ensuring that your property is secure. After all, no one wants to come home to find that someone has been through their property, relieving them off their valuable possessions.
The good news is that there is very little chance of being burgled in the UK. What’s more, according the UK Crime Stats, during the months of August and September your property is far less likely to be burgled than in the month of November when burglaries peak.
However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and by following a few of these simple tips, you are far more likely to find your home exactly the way you left it.
This time tomorrow we’ll be on a plane to Majorca
Most of us at one time or another will have read a Facebook status from a friend bragging about their forthcoming holiday. While you can’t be blamed for wanting to tell the world, you could be giving an open invitation to a burglar.
If you want everyone to know about your hols on Facebook or Twitter, it’s a better idea to brag about it when you get home and not before you leave.
Make sure your Facebook account is closed, so only friends can read it. It’s amazing just how many Facebook profiles are open to anyone who fancies having a gander through their pictures and personal information.
Don’t put pics up on your phone while you’re away. It’s so easy these days with smartphone technology to just point and click for your pics to appear on Facebook in the blink of an eye. As excited as you are, the chances are, your friends will be able to survive an extra few days without seeing your pics for the sake of safety.
Switch location services off on your phone. If you don’t know what this is, it’s the notification that tells you when your friends are anywhere from Asda to the Seychelles. If you are unsure how to do it, ask a friend or look online. It’s quite straightforward.
Remember, criminals are very often ahead of the game and the idea of one using the internet to their advantage isn’t that far-fetched.
Ask a friend
While you won’t want to announce to the world that you are going away, it’s not a bad idea to ask a close friend to pop in once a day if possible to make the place look lived in. They can pick up the mail from behind the door and if they live very close and don’t mind popping in twice a day, why not ask them to open and close the curtains?
Stop the mail
If you don’t know anyone who can pop around to check up on things, then it’s advisable to call Royal Mail and stop your mail. Mail piling up on the rug behind the door is an invitation to burglars considering breaking in.
It’s not just lights that can be set on a timer, radios can often be set to switch on and off at certain times, thus giving the appearance that someone is home. Little things like this can make all the difference and deter any potential burglar who may be scoping the property.
Remember to move the spare key
Whether you keep the key under a garden gnome or somewhere a little cleverer, you will definitely want to move it before going away.
By following these simple tips you can make your home considerably safer when you go on your hols, allowing you time to relax and have fun. So if you haven’t put any of these into practise yet, there’s no time like the present to start.
Article by Matthew Fine, Managing Director of Hunters Marylebone branch. Follow Matthew on LinkedIn by clicking here.