We all like our holidays away from it all, nothing beats a care free holiday in the sun, does it? Unfortunately though, we often have the security of our homes preying on our mind, which is why it pays to take simple steps before we leave.
Remember only 1 in 10 homes are broken into whilst the householder is on holiday, it means that there is a 90% chance that you won't get broken into. Better odds than the lottery! If we take sensible precautions then the risk reduces further.
Before you go
Don't: leave door keys in hiding places, such as under the doormat or in a flowerpot. Thieves know all the hiding places.
Do: fit good quality rim and/or mortice locks to all external doors; use a 'deadlock' on the front door. Use mortice security bolts or key operated door security press bolts on the top and bottom of both solid wood and glazed back doors.
Don't: leave windows open a few inches for the cat to get in or out. Burglars find this very useful too.
Do: keep your shed and/or garage locked. Your tools are useful to the thief who wants to gain entry. If your garage has a communicating door with the interior of the house, secure it as another exterior door.
Don't: leave ladders lying around. If you must keep them outside, padlock them to something secure so you are the only person who can use them.
Do: close the curtains and leave a light on in a room (not the hall, no one spends the evening in the hall) when you are out for the evening.
Don't: leave curtains and blinds drawn during the daytime; they attract the thief.
Do: illuminate dark areas around your home. Remember burglars hate light.
Don't: leave 'back soon' notes on display. Burglars love a written guarantee that the house is unoccupied.
Do: make sure that your house and contents are insured.
Don't: forget to permanently mark your valuables with your postcode/house number, and to display a sticker showing that you have done so. Marked property is less attractive to the thief and is harder to dispose of. Photograph all items of high value, record serial numbers of televisions, video recorders, cameras etc. Have a ruler in shot so that the size can be gauged of the object.
Do: leave a radio on with a talk programme on rather than music.