With summer creeping up and holidays getting booked, it might be a prudent time to think about how secure your home is when it's empty.
It's worth knowing that three out of ten burglaries are carried out not by force (such as breaking windows/doors etc.), but by taking advantage of easy access points (open windows, unlocked doors) or keys being left in obvious places (under the plant pot, anyone?!). We've put together a few key tips on how to secure your home and ensure peace of mind whilst you're away.
- Lock up properly: It may sound obvious, but make sure you've invested in (or your landlord has) decent cylinder locks and deadlocks.
- Secure the windows: Ensure your windows all have decent locks or key-operated levers.
- Install a security system: Security lights, motion sensors and alarm systems deter thieves, especially if there are other properties in the area whose security is lax. Remove any sticker which mentions the brand name/type of security system to avoid thieves researching how to beat that type of alarm.
- Get to know your neighbours! If there's a local neighbourhood watch group, consider joining this. If your alarm system does go off whilst you're away and you don't know any of the local residents, it's likely people will just ignore it as an annoyance rather than checking out your property once they've got to know you.
- Out of sight: Don't leave all your valuables in plain sight. Make your house or flat look as unappealing as possible to would-be thieves.
- Seal up pet flaps: If you've got a cat-flap, make sure the surround is secure and that it's not possible to prize open the hole easily. This is likely to be in a back door, and therefore much more inviting to burglars.
- Minimise hiding spaces: Although you might want to make your property as private as possible; thick trees, tall fences etc. are enticing to intruders. If you have invested in ways to light up your home if it's being burgled, don't then make it easy for someone to sneak in.
You can never make your property 100% burglar proof, but if you take these measures, there's a high chance your property won't be the most attractive in the neighbourhood to potential intruders.