You’re planning a holiday. Good on you — you deserve it! After working so hard throughout the year, it’s time to relax, unwind and enjoy life without the stresses. It’s all going to be for nothing, however, if you return feeling refreshed only to find that your home has been broken into while you’re away. The reality is, the extended period spent away from home that comes as a result of a holiday provides the perfect opportunity for criminals to break into your home and steal your valuables. Before you go away, draw your curtains or blinds and follow this home security holiday checklist to ensure you don’t become a victim.
Think about lighting
One of the key signs that you’re away from home is the lack of lights on in your home at night time. It pays to keep a light on both inside and outside your house at all times. An even better option is to use activated lighting timers which can be installed and programmed to switch on your lights at relevant times — just after it gets dark, for example, to make potential robbers think you’re home even when you’re not. You can also leave a trusted neighbour with a key to make their way in and out of your house occasionally and switch on the lights.
Lock everything. Everything!
Before you leave, don’t forget to lock all doors and windows. It sounds obvious, but it’s amazing how many entry points there are in your house, and if a burglar has cottoned onto the fact that you’re away from home, they’re going to want to find a way in with as little noise as possible — something that can be afforded by an unlocked window at the back of your home. Remember, much of the time burglars are people you know — it could be a neighbour down the street who you don’t know so well, but who has heard you’re going to be away for a week or more and knows they will have the opportunity to break in.
Use alarm security systems
Modern alarm systems are more than just loud sirens that are activated when a window or door is opened. These days, sensors can be installed in combination with video monitoring systems that link back to a central monitoring station being manned by trained security personnel. When an alert appears, the monitor is able to look at footage to see what the problem is. If it’s simply a cat that’s wandered by your home, then great — no harm done. If, however, there is an intruder alert, the security station can send a patrol or even the police immediately.
Inform a trusted neighbour or family member
We’ve already touched on this earlier, but if you have a trusted neighbour, or perhaps a friend or family member that lives in the area, it really pays to ask them to assist you by collecting newspapers and mail, putting the garbage out weekly, extending your retractable awnings and keeping a general eye on the goings-on around your property. One of the key signs that your home is ripe for the picking is a pile-up of local newspapers or mail in your letterbox; by collecting these, your neighbours are helping create an appearance that you are home after all.