Going away this summer? Here’s how to ensure your home is safe

If you are eagerly anticipating a long summer getaway this year, be careful that you don’t become so preoccupied with washing clothes and packing bags that you forget to safeguard your home.

Sadly, unoccupied homes can become easy prey to thieves if they detect, just from looking at the property, that it is vacant. There are some ways of potentially throwing them off the scent and so discouraging them from even attempting any intrusions.

Keep windows and doors closed and locked

It might seem like an obvious point, but given the stuffiness that can typically come with uncomfortable summer heat, you might open windows and doors which you then absentmindedly forget to lock shut before you embark on your trip away.

If your windows and doors are looking a little worse for wear, their physical resilience may be compromised – in which case, replacing them with resilient uPVC windows and doors could be wise.

Keep valuables away from open windows

If an opportunistic thief spots an open window, it could take them just a few minutes to extend an arm through it and snatch one of your valuables on open display.

Of course, you could reduce the likelihood of this happening if you keep those items concealed from public sight. The Northern Echo implies that these valuables could be too tempting to a thief even if the window is “only open a smidge”.

An opening in a roof – particularly a flat roof across which someone could easily walk – might catch a thief’s eye, too. Fortunately, it’s not hard to get flat roof repairs in Newcastle upon Tyne and elsewhere.

Be careful what you post on social media

It might be fun to share your holiday exploits with the rest of the world on social media, but the likes of Twitter and Instagram can be very public platforms except for users who have tinkered with their privacy settings. You could accidentally notify dubious people that your home is empty.

It’s wise to avoid posting anything that could enable someone to narrow down your home address. You could also limit your posts to the view of only trusted online friends.

Use timer switches to make lights go off automatically

It’s easy to install smart plugs and light bulbs that, in your home, will switch off at particular times and so further cultivate the illusion of an occupied home. This is a safer bet than just letting your home’s lights shine for the whole time that you are away.

Independent also suggests that, if your property would be appropriate for this, you could invest in an outdoor security light. The mere sight of it could make budding burglars think twice.

Temporarily cancel regular household deliveries

You might draw unwanted attention to your home if the likes of milk and newspapers gather outside it because you aren’t there to regularly collect them. You could either put a temporary block on these deliveries or ask a friend or neighbour to remove them periodically, suggests House Beautiful.