Going on holiday? How to protect your property when you are away this summer
Relax this summer by guarding against theft and fire with these simple home security measures
Four out of five burglaries occur when a house is unoccupied; this makes a few weeks away for some summer sun the perfect opportunity for thieves.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your home is secure whilst you’re away. Follow these simple tips to protecting your home and its contents, then relax in the knowledge that your belongings are safe and secure.
1.Test your alarm
If you don’t set it very regularly, do a test run a few weeks before you’re due to leave, to allow time for an engineer’s visit if there is a problem. The last thing you want is to discover your security or fire alarm isn’t working just before you head off to the airport. And don’t forget to switch it on before you leave!
2. Check all your window and door locks are working properly
Burglars are clever and quick to spot an opportunity – an open window or faulty side door; everything should be locked up tight. Again check the locks and window fixtures a few weeks before you go so that you have time to repair any problems. Consider installing security sensors. These can alert you to any doors, windows, barns or garages left open so you can secure your property with ease.
You don’t want to come back from holiday to find that your alarm was faulty and didn’t activate when an intruder entered the property, or even that it kept your neighbours awake all night. Check your maintenance schedule and if necessary book a maintenance visit before you go. Regular maintenance and system upgrading is the best way to protect your home.
4. Key holders
If your alarm does go off when you’re away, an alarm receiving centre will contact you or another key holder. If you have entrusted a friend or neighbour with this responsibility make sure they’ll be around and their details are up to date so that they can be contacted if your alarm is activated.
5. Tell-tale signs
Leaflets poking out of the letterbox, bins left in the street, parcels on the doorstep – they are all signals to opportunistic burglars that you are away. Cancel deliveries and ask a trusted neighbour to move your post out of sight or bring in your bins. If you are away for longer, you could consider the Royal Mail Keepsafe service – they’ll keep your mail for up to two months while you’re gone.
6. Hold off on social media
Make sure that only people you know and trust are aware of your holiday plans. Announcing your holiday trips and posting snaps of you on the beach all over social media might seem like a great idea but that information could easily be shared with total strangers.
7. Move valuables
If you normally leave bicycles or power tools in your shed, consider putting them in the house while you are away, or buy a very sturdy lock. Don’t leave valuable items such as laptops or tablets on display and visible through downstairs windows. Move as much as you can into lockable cupboards, well away from view.
8. Fake it
Making your house look occupied is another good way to deter burglars. Buy a timer switch to turn lights on and off in the evenings, plug-in adapters can be used for table lamps and lighting adapters that fit between the light socket and the bulb for ceiling lights. You could also invite a neighbour to park on your drive while you are away as it will make it look like someone is home.
9. Spare keys
Burglars like to get into a property as quickly as possible – and the easiest way is with a key. If they suspect your property is unoccupied, they may look round for a spare key. If you have one hidden under a rock or flowerpot it would probably be a good idea to move it before you go away.
10. Get a smart alarm app
With a security system like the Chris Lewis Smart Home System you can control, view and receive notifications with an app for flexibility and convenience. This means that even if you’re on the beach you can keep an eye on your property. And if you get off the plane and remember you’ve forgotten to set your alarm – it only takes a quick tap on your app to resolve.
About Chris Lewis Fire & Security
Chris Lewis Fire & Security design, install and maintain a complete range of fire and security systems for residential and commercial customers. From fire alarms, to HD CCTV and access control, they work with you to design a system that is right for you. With over 25 years of experience Chris Lewis Fire & Security’s team of professional engineers work throughout Oxfordshire and the Home Counties to deliver peace of mind and excellent service.
Get in touch today, or call 01865 782 444 to find out how you can make sure your property is properly protected this summer.