Protecting your home while on holiday

Holidays can leave your property particularly vulnerable, as burglars usually target homes they believe to be unoccupied. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your home and belongings are more protected as you enjoy your time away.

 

Preparing to go away

  • Make sure the grass is cut and the hedges are trimmed before you leave, and secure all outbuildings and gates.
  • Cancel any deliveries such as milk, newspapers and vegetable boxes.
  • A pile of unopened post can signal to burglars that nobody is home, so look into using Royal Mail’s keepsafe service to hold any deliveries while you are away.
  • Unplug all non-essential sockets to reduce fire risk.
  • Turn off electric garage doors so that they cannot be opened with a universal remote.
  • Don’t leave all the curtains closed as this can indicate that nobody is home.

 

Making your home secure

  • Keep all doors and windows locked and alarm systems engaged. Visual burglar alarms are especially effective.
  • Visible security measures such as motion sensor lights and security cameras can also be a great asset to your security, as well as providing an indicator to would-be burglars that your home is guarded.
  • Make sure valuable items are not visible through windows. Ideally, keep your high-value belongings in a well-protected safe or bank vault.
  • You may want to consider engaging a specialist security company to make sure your home is properly protected.

 

Maintaining your privacy

  • Only tell those who need to know and those that you trust that you are going on holiday.
  • If you have an out of office message on your work phone or email, do not advertise that you are away on a trip.
  • Use a trusted, reputable taxi service to take you to the airport, or ask a friend.
  • To protect your home in case of baggage theft, consider attaching a friend’s address to your luggage instead of your own (with their permission).
  • If you post on social media, remember that someone without the best of intentions could be watching. Refrain from posting details about your upcoming trip and wait to share your holiday photos until you are back at home.

 

Keeping up appearances

  • Consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to visit. Having someone to open and shut curtains, move your car and collect your post can deter burglars, as well as providing you with peace of mind. You could also ask a friend to park on your driveway so that it appears someone is home.
  • Automatic timers controlling the lights and radio can make your home appear inhabited, especially if the use of these timers is not limited to just one room.