One of the key things is to disguise the fact your property is vacant, as if burglars notice signs that suggest no-one is at home, they will see as an open invitation to try and get their hands on your prized possessions.
Here’s a seven point guide to making your home appear to be occupied and to keeping it safe from prying eyes while you’re not there.
1 Use a timer switch
Make use of a timer switch that turns your lights on at night. This can make it less obvious that your house is empty. Also think about leaving a radio on too. Ideally, set these to come on at random times, rather than at the exact same time every morning and evening.
And don’t forget to set your burglar alarm.
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2. Make use of apps
There are now a number of smartphone apps which allow you to activate your home’s alarm system remotely, so consider downloading one of these.
Some will even allow you to monitor what’s going on in your home, or alert you to suspicious activity.
Connect your home with Nest
3. Cancel any regular deliveries
Remember to cancel regular deliveries, such as papers, milk, and food, as if bottles or other items pile up on your doorstep, this is a clear indication your home is empty.
Also try and do this subtly, as you don’t want everyone knowing your house is going to be vacant for a period.
4. Do a little gardening
If you’re going away for a slightly longer break, think about mowing the lawn and trimming bushes. This will avoid them appearing overgrown, even after two weeks.
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5. Lock up ladders
Keep tools and ladders that can be used to break in locked away while you’re on holiday.
At the same time, if you store tools inside a shed or garage, put a sturdy padlock on the door to ensure you’re not giving a thief a helping hand. Also always close your front gate.
6. Get a neighbour to keep an eye on your home
Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to check in and collect any mail and parcels, and to open and close the curtains.
Alternatively, invite a friend to “house-sit” for you while you’re away to keep an eye on things.
Could you be a housesitter?
7. Sign up to a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
Join or start a Neighbourhood Watch scheme, as these are a great way for communities to fight burglary.
Also bear in mind that some insurers may give you a discount if you are an active member. For more information, go to Ourwatch.org.uk.
Facebook can also be useful, with local community groups keeping neighbours alert to bogus callers and suspicious activity.
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