As you prepare to jet off on your summer holiday, it’s important to take precautions to make sure your home is safe from any dangers or intruders while you’re away. According to Office for National Statistics, police-recorded crime has risen by 10 per cent in the last year across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decade.
So here’s a few important tips to keep you safe and give you peace of mind.
Don’t leave your house looking empty
There are obvious tell-tale signs that a house is unoccupied so make sure you don’t fall into the trap. There are simple measures you can put into place before you head off to fool potential burglars.
- Leave your blinds and curtains open – if your curtains are drawn during the day, this is an obvious sign that no one is home. If you have a trusting neighbour, ask them to pop into your house in the evening and morning to open and close your curtains.
- Ask your neighbour to also remove any post that is stacking up at the door. Alternatively you could sign up to Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which safely holds your post for anywhere between 14 to 66 days.
- Invest in a light timer that comes on automatically in the evening. Make sure the lamp is out of view from the window – a big giveaway if someone was looking through your window.
Hide all valuables in a safe place that isn’t obvious
Keep all valuables out of sight if someone was to look through the window. Don’t entice burglars by having all the latest gadgets in view, think smart about where you hide things. In the unfortunate event that a burglar does try and rob you, spread your valuables out around the house and don’t hide them in obvious places, like your sock drawer or under your bed. A smart tip is to wrap jewellery in tin foil and hide it among other food items in your freezer.
Make sure you have the relevant home insurance
Before you head off, make sure you have the home insurance cover you need and that it’s valid when you’re not there. Make sure you inform yourself of the exclusions in the policy too, you don’t want to be caught out by any surprises! It’s also useful to find out how long your house can be empty for and take note of important contact numbers incase you need to call them when you’re on holiday.
Don’t post on social media that you’re going on holiday
We’re all guilty of it, that airport check-in on Facebook before you jet off but we wary that this information is public and could be seen by an opportunist burglar. Only tell close family and friends that you are heading away and for how long. If you can, try and wait until you get home to upload your holiday photos. Former England captain John Terry was targeted by burglars recently after he shared images of him on holiday with his wife and family, stealing more than £400,000 of designer goods from the mansion.
Turn it Off
Ensure all electrical appliances are switched off at the wall before you head off on holiday, it’s not enough to simply turn the power off. This will not only save energy and money but it will reduce the fire risk in your home too.
Declutter your gutter
Your guttering provides drainage which in turn protects the windows, doors, siding and even foundations of your home from water damage caused by rain and storms. Make sure your gutter is clear of leaves before you head off on holiday, overloading may cause your gutters to collapse and no one wants to come home to a flooded house.
Make sure your boiler is in good working order
If your boiler packs in when you’re on holiday it could mean you return to no hot water or heating – not the best situation to come back to after enjoying a sunny holiday abroad. Make sure you’ve had your annual boiler service to ensure your boiler is in good working order.
The Daily Star has shared our top tips but added some more handy hints for keeping your home safe when you’re away.