Going away these summer holidays? With one home on average being burgled every minute of the day, according to insurance statistics, be sure to secure your home as best you can.
These simple measures can help safeguard your home and property.
Make sure your home contents insurance is up to date and that you are adequately insured for all items. Keep a record of the serial and model number of major household items and a list (and photographs) of all jewellery and valuable possessions.
It might sound simple but something as easy as installing movement-activated sensor lights can make a big difference when it comes to the security of your home. Install lights at the front and back of your property and the garage area.
While away, consider using timer lights to give your property a lived-in look or alternatively, leave lights on in a few areas of the house.
Alarms and locks
An alarm is one of the best deterrents to burglars, but be sure to have it installed correctly and always turn it on when leaving the house.
If possible an alarm should include:
- intruder detection devices on, or near, the main entry points,
- at least one internal siren,
- a strobe light and external siren, and
- a minimum of three intruder detection devices, including at least two motion detectors.
Locks are great for keeping intruders out and should be installed on all gates, sheds and garage doors and windows throughout the house. Entry doors should be fitted with deadlocks.
Make sure you lock up before heading out, and have someone else check all the locks after you.
Lock away all garden equipment, power tools, bikes and other items that can be stolen from the garden or outside areas. Also remember to lock up any items, such as ladders, that can be used by would-be intruders to gain access to your property.
Other top tips
- Try to make the house look as lived-in as possible. Have someone collect the mail (or ask the post office to hold it for the period you are away) and take the bins in and out.
- Stop delivery of newspapers and other items.
- If you’ve recently moved into the property, consider installing new locks on all entry doors.
- Never leave spare keys outside the property: even if you think you have an ingenious hiding place, don’t do it.
- Trim all trees and shrubs that provide cover (or easy access to windows) for a would-be burglar.
- Have a neighbour, friend or family member keep a regular eye on your property.
- Don’t leave a message on your answering machine to say you’re away, and turn down the volume on your home phone.
- Leave a car parked in the driveway if you can.
- Don’t advertise your latest purchases. For example, don’t leave the box of your new TV or computer outside the house.