Safeguarding your home while on holidays
Summer is fast approaching, and with the school holidays and warmer weather come bookings for trips near and far. Whether you are planning to go on an international escapade or just down to the coast for a week on the sand, you need to make sure that your home is safeguarded.
Thieves are savvy, and they know that the summer months mean that you will be leaving your home for days and weeks at a time. That means that they are getting prepared for your holiday just as much as you are.
If you want to come home to your home and find it safe and sound, and in the same condition you left it, you need to take some steps to protect your property before you go away.
- You might be surprised to find out that most home burglaries take place between 10am and 3pm.
- Your security system turns burglars off in a big way – according to UNC’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, more than 60% of convicted home robbers answered that a security system will send them on their way to a different home.
- Burglars live nearby, usually within 2 miles of your home. This means that they can easily monitor your comings and goings.
- They usually head straight for your master bedroom – they want the valuables you store there.
According to journal.ie, almost half of homeowners in Ireland still do not have a burglar alarm installed despite the high crime rate.
Don’t be a victim at your own home.
Install a home security system
You would be surprised at just how often people all across Ireland neglect to take this simple yet important step. Installing a home security system has an upfront cost, but this pales in comparison to all of the money you will save by preventing a break in. Your family’s safety and security (not to mention your peace of mind) is worth every penny, and you might be surprised at just how affordable a home security system can be.
Make sure your home looks occupied while you’re away
A home that looks empty, with mail piling up on the front porch and lights left burning all night (or left off all day) practically screams, ‘we’re on holiday!’ Make sure that you ask your neighbours to collect your mail, and ensure that you follow the next tip.
Set automatic timers on your lights
Leaving your lights on 24/7 is not just bad for your bank account, its not a wise strategy. Lights left on the entire time away is as clear a sign you’re away as lights left off. Install automatic timers on your lights so that they go on and off on timed intervals.
Blinds? They should stay open
You might think that it is a good idea to leave the blinds and curtains closed so that no one can see inside, but just think about how suspicious it would look if your curtains remained closed day after day? That is a sure sign to anyone casing your home that you are away.
Strong locks, fences and barriers
A lock is only as strong as the attempts it takes to break it. While a security alarm system should always be your first line of defense, you should also invest in a series of strong locks (including deadbolts), bars on any street level windows, and fences around your property.
Hide all temptations
This may seem like an obvious point, but before you leave on your holiday, tuck away all of your most valuable items so that they are out of sight. Pack up your gaming consoles, laptops and other gadgets and place them in a closet or under a bed, and move your electronics and other valuables so that they can’t be seen from the windows.
Ask a friend or family member to stop by now and then
If someone is casing your home and trying to decide when to strike, then they will be completely deterred if they see people coming and going at sporadic times. Ask a friend or family member to drop by once or twice a week to water the lawn or simply spend some time inside. Their vehicle parked out front will alert anyone who is watching – and waiting – that your home is not unoccupied. Just make sure you give them your alarm codes!
Better yet, have a home sitter stay at yours
If you want to go one step better than having someone stop by now and again, consider asking a friend or family member to stay the entire time. No one willing to house sit? You can even find people online who are bonded and trusted, and they will stay at yours to water the plants and take care of your home for a small fee. This is especially ideal if you have any pets.
Follow these tips and you will greatly reduce the risk of your home being burgled while you are on your summer holiday. Don’t make the same mistake that thousands of Irish families make each year and leave home without a security system, complete with an alarm. Your safety, belongings and peace of mind are worth far too much!