There aren't many things that could happen to you that can make you feel as sick as having your home broken into. Picture the scenario, you've just returned, tired and a little glum after a great holiday and you return home to find your back door broken into and your valuables gone.
Burglary figures have dropped significantly over the past 5 years, from over 800,000 incidents a year to just over 500,000 in 2012. However, the drop in figures doesn't mean that you should be blasé in your approach to keeping your home safe when you go away.
Now, by all means, you shouldn't spend your time when you’re away worrying that something awful is going to happen to your home. By following a few simple tips, you can have peace of mind that everything will be as you left it when you return.
Burglar alarms can provide a visual deterrent to anyone who may be looking for potential homes to target in your area. There are various types of alarms and security systems you can get, from dummy alarm boxes – which flash but don’t actually make any sound, through to motion detectors that begin to record video when they detect movement.
If you’re on a budget, you may only be able to afford a dummy alarm system, but if you do have a little extra cash to invest, then you might want to consider getting a system fitted that includes both door and window sensors as well as motion detectors in various rooms. Although an alarm doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be a victim of crime, it makes a definite improvement to the chances that you won’t get a nasty surprise.
Your locks may seem secure, but many old doors and windows don’t provide the same level of security as new ones will. There are various types of locks that you should be looking at; some are more secure than others. You should contact a locksmith or even your insurance company to find out what type of lock is recommended for you and your home.
Keep It Quiet
A number of crimes, such as burglary, are actually committed as a result of intel being passed on unknowingly, either by yourself or someone around you, to the wrong people. Don’t shout about the fact you’re going away, as you never know who may hear and know where you live. Even a conversation in a local pub could be picked up by the sharp ears of a criminal, especially if they know where you live.
Social media sites can play a big part in letting people know you’re home is going to be empty for a while, with location based apps showing exactly where you post from regularly. If you don’t have the right privacy settings on, people you don’t know or trust can see not only what your address is, but when you’re going to be leaving. Don’t post about your holiday until you’re back or are certain that your posts don’t give away any hints of where you live to people you don’t want to know.
Leave Valuables Elsewhere
Many people make the decision to attempt to hide their valuables when they go away in the event that someone does break in. Most of the time, these ‘hidden’ places are actually where regular burglars know exactly where to go.
Consider leaving laptops, jewellery and other items in a safe in your wardrobe, it’s highly unlikely a good sturdy safe will be easily removed from your home, plus petty criminals don’t want the hassle of having to find a way of getting into one. They want to be in and out, usually so they can sell on the items as quickly as possible. You can also consider leaving items with sentimental value with a friend or family member if you will worry extensively about them. It’s also a good idea to ask a neighbor or friend you trust to pop in from time to time to turn lights on in an evening, for example. Timer switches for lamps can make a great cover up to make it look like someone’s home.
By making sure you’re sensible about security, you can vacation in peace and not worry about a thing.
About the Author: Katie Belliveau regularly blogs about a number of topics, including everything from business to security. She also enjoys giving people hints and tips on looking after their homes.