Home security is always a top priority, with British summer time beginning in March and the nicer weather approaching day trips and summer holidays are becoming more frequent meaning our houses are unattended for longer periods of time, what can we do to keep them secure?
- While the weather maybe hot if the house is empty ensure all windows and doors are locked.
As tempting as it is to leave a window open to let air flow through the house so that it’s not stuffy when you arrive back home, this can be a huge invitation to burglars as you are providing an easy access route into your home. A break in caused by leaving a window open or door unlocked can potentially invalidate some house insurance policies.
- When outside in the garden enjoying the sunshine don’t forget to lock the front (and even back doors if you’re not in view of them)
It sounds strange to lock your doors when you are home however if you’re enjoying the weather and relaxing in the garden with friends or family there is a less chance of you hearing someone letting themselves in, burglaries happen in minutes and with partying going into the late evening with the lighter nights you might not notice until it’s too late.
- Always keep your garages, sheds, and summerhouses/outbuildings locked.
It’s easy to underestimate the value of your belongings, but for some people a garage or outbuilding can be a jackpot. Thanks to covid a lot of us have invested in summerhouses that have been converted into home offices and bars. The cost of replacing items you wouldn’t consider to be valuable can quickly add up when you consider most people now not only store bicycles, lawnmowers, power tools and camping equipment, but office tech and even alcohol! (As an additional note, if you have items for work such a as a laptop or tablet it is worth taking these into the house with you when your workday ends.)
- If you’re heading on holiday for a long period of time or are a frequent traveller.
If you travel away from home frequently or are leaving your house unattended for an extended period of time it may be worth investing in an intruder alarm. If this is not an option, it is useful to ask a friend or a neighbour to regularly check on the house and make it looked ‘lived’ in.
- Ask them to close curtains/blinds at night and open them again in the morning
- Invest in a few timer switches to make lights operate at ‘usual’ times, this will make it look like the house is occupied.
- Get a friend or neighbour to move any post especially if a pile of post is visible through your front door.
- Avoid purchasing parcels that won’t fit through your post-box or get them delivered to a nominated address. You’ll be surprised how many thieves tend to follow delivery drivers around, if they attempt to deliver a parcel to your address and there is no answer this is another indication that the house is unoccupied.
- Consider purchasing a safe for more valuable items and hiding them in unusual spots.
Buying a safe can lower the chance of your more valuable items like jewellery or personal documents being taken but it’s worth thinking of the most unusual place to install the safe. Putting it on a dresser on in a wardrobe is an obvious hiding spot and could potentially give a burglar more of a chance of having time to crack it open or even taking it with them before someone notices they’re in your house. If this is not an option, consider leaving these valuables with a family member who will be home while you’re away.