If you have booked a holiday or plan on spending some time away from your home, leaving it unoccupied your house could be at an increased risk of burglary. Here are some useful tips and safety advice you can take to make your home less attractive to burglary whilst you are away.
The Fire Safety Checklist
If you are on holiday you want to be able to relax and not worry about your home. Having a checklist before you go away will provide you with peace of mind that your home will be at less risk of a fire.
- Turn off all gas appliances that do not need to run whilst you are away.
- Turn off and unplug all electrical devices that are not needed whilst you are away.
- Turn off the water at the mains. Water leaking from pipes can cause electrical wiring to short out and cause a fire.
- Close all internal doors – any fire that does occur will be better contained and reduce the amount of damage to your home.
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms – this will let neighbours know if a fire starts whilst you are away.
Many break-ins are carried out by simply smashing a weak door or forcing a vulnerable lock. Ensure you have solid doors and secure locks.
Open windows make it very easy for intruders to gain access to your home so make sure that everything is closed tight before you leave.
If you have an alarm system, make sure it is activated before you leave.
Many criminals monitor social media and will look for posts about your holiday which may indicate that your home is empty. Enjoy your time away and save your posts until you get home.
Opportunistic burglars will look for signs that a house is unoccupied, so having lights on timers and keeping curtains in a normal position are good ways of keeping your home that bit safer.
A darkened street can make a home more appealing to burglars. If you’re having problems with streetlights in your area, make sure the local authorities know about it so that they can be fixed in good time.
Even moderate background noise can deter a person who is scouting out a break-in. Leaving a radio on low is a good idea to deter them.
If the worst does happen it is essential that you know you are covered by your home insurance. Some policies place a limit on the number of days you can leave your home unoccupied and still be able to make a claim.
If you have a trusted neighbour ask them to keep an eye on your property, maybe even ask them to park on your drive occasionally to make it look like the hose is occupied.
Make sure you cancel deliveries of milk, newspapers, or vegetable boxes etc.
Burglars will often use piled up letters by the door as a sign that people are away. Ask a trusted neighbour to move your post, or ask the Royal Mail to hold on to your letters until you return using the Royal Mail Keepsafe Service (opens in a new window/tab).
Make sure valuable items such as car keys and laptops are put out of sight of people looking in your windows.