Almost half of all burglaries happen when a flat or house is empty.
Here are some tips to help keep your home safe whilst you are away:
- Think about getting automatic time-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark.
- Fit mortise locks or bolts to all outside doors, and locks to all downstairs or easily accessible windows.
- Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
- Get a friend or neighbour to look after your home. They can collect your mail, mow your lawn and so on. This gives the impression that someone is living in your home. If you leave keys with a neighbour, don't label them with your address.
- Don't leave valuables where people can see them through windows.
- Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination.
- Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries.
- Mark any valuable items with your postcode and house number using an 'invisible' pen that you can get from DIY shops. If your property is stolen, this will help the police to identify it if it is found, which might not only allow them to return it to you but could also provide them with better evidence to convict the people responsible.
- Make sure that you have up-to-date contents insurance.
- Lock the garage and shed with proper security locks, after putting all your tools safely away so they cannot be used to break into your house. If you have to leave a ladder out, put it on its side and lock it to a secure fixture with a 'close shackle' padlock or heavy-duty chain.