It’s that time of year when you will be setting off on holiday and finally enjoy some well-deserved relaxation time after a long, hard year. Unfortunately, the festive season is also a favourite amongst criminals, who take advantage of relaxed home owners and empty homes. You want to enjoy your holiday without worrying about the safety of the house. So, take the following advice to heart and keep your home safe and secure this Christmas and New Year.
Get Someone to Look after the House
If you’re going away and leaving your home for a week or two, the best thing to do is always to have someone you trust staying at the house and taking care of it. This would be the first prize, if it is possible. Make sure that the person you choose maintains constant activity and a regular presence to deter any would-be burglars. Also, make sure that they have all the necessary emergency numbers, including that of your security company.
Even if you can’t find anyone to stay there for the duration of your stay, try to get someone – a family member or friend – to go in and check up on a daily basis.
Create the Illusion of Activity
If you can’t have someone at the house most of the time, you need to create the illusion of presence and activity. Don’t leave your lights on 24/7; that is a sure give away. Rather, plug your inside lamps into plugs with timers set to go on and off at particular times of the day and night. Do the same with your exterior lights if you can. Again, you should never leave your outside lights on all the time.
If you have someone checking on the place regularly, ask them to close and open the curtains, switch lights on and off, and make a bit of noise too now and then.
Don’t Tell the Whole World You’re Going on Holiday
Only tell people you trust that you will be away. Don’t broadcast it to everybody. You never know who might take an interest in your absence. And, you would be surprised how fast word can spread to the wrong people!
Check Your Home Security System before Leaving
Before you leave, test your home security system to ensure that it is in full working order. It’s obviously no good if there is a sensor or mag that isn’t working at all; it will only serve to create an easy opening for criminals. And, furthermore, it’s also hazardous to have a faulty zone in your alarm system that keeps getting triggered falsely. This defeats the purpose of an alarm. It’s the classic ‘boy who cried wolf’ situation: if your alarm keeps going off, how will your neighbours or your security company know if there is a real emergency? Call a technician from your security company to come and test your system before you leave.
Don’t Let Your Newspapers and Post Pile Up
If you still receive a fair amount of paper mail and newspapers, either stop delivery while you are away or have someone check and collect it for you regularly. Piles of untouched mail or newspapers in your letterbox are a sure sign that nobody is home.
Inform Your Security Company that You’ll Be Away
Finally, be sure to let your security company know that you will be away. Give them the dates, and also inform them if you have a caretaker watching the place. They should then increase patrols in the area and, if you grant them access, perhaps do an occasional walkthrough on your property.