It's approaching holiday season again and thousands of UK families, couples and groups or lads, gals are getting ready to jet off to tropical shores for either rest and relaxation or non stop partying, but can you really relax or let go and party knowing that your home is empty for a week or two? You can if you follow a selection of simply steps aimed and having a more secure home and not advertising to the neighbourhood and the criminals that you are away on holiday.
Don't advertise that fact that you are going away on social media sites
Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram have become very popular in recent years, but not only to genuine people wanting to connect with friends and family but for criminals looking to burgle you whilst you are away.
We have all seen those posts on social media platforms, "3 weeks till my holidays", "2 weeks until I jet off on my hols", "off on holiday today, can't wait". This is one of the most irresponsible things a person can do and is basically advertising to the criminals that you are going to be away on a certain date and that your home and/or business will be empty, so it's an ideal time for these criminals to call round and relieve you off your possessions and even with a secure account your posts can been seen by friends of friends and nobody really knows who the criminals are these days, sometimes they are just opportunists.
A lot of people, especially young people, also post pictures and check-ins whilst they are away on holiday or even at the airport waiting for their flight, again you don't know who is seeing these updates and it's telling everyone that you are not home. The solution is to wait until you get home then post all your lovely pictures and tell all your friends and family what a fantastic time you had.
Many people these days also run businesses from home and post on their social media business pages and their company website that their company is having its annual holidays and won't be open during certain dates. Again, you should not post this information publicly, the solution to this is just to email or message your actual clients.
If you are worried about losing business because someone rings whilst you away and think you have just not picked up the phone then either record a message saying it's annual holidays and the date you'll be open again or redirect your phone to your mobile or to a friend or colleague. If you use a social media management or social media marketing company to post regular updates to Facebook, Twitter etc then let them continue whilst you away so it looks like you business is active and things are carrying on a normal.
Make sure you tell a neighbour to keep an eye of your home.
People these days are not as neighbourly as they used to be 10, 20 years ago, some people have never even met their neighbours or don't speak to the ones that they have met, this is fine, each to his/her own, but if you really want your home to be secure whilst you are away on holiday then you should have a least one close/friendly neighbour who you can rely on.
However, asking a neighbour to simply keep an eye out is not going to help a great deal, here's why; The criminal or burglar doesn't know that a neighbour is keeping and eye on things and to be honest your neighbour is not going to watch your home 24/7 for anything out of the ordinary and if a burglar turns up without the neighbour noticing or when the neighbour you have tasked with keeping an eye out is not around, then it's not going to do much good.
Here's is what you should do and why
First off give your neighbour a spare key, if you don't have a spare key and go and get one cut, there are plenty of key cutting shops on the high street and a spare key doesn't cost much, a few pounds at most. Ask your neighbour if they will call round every day or every other day to water plants and physically check on things, most people do still want to be neighbourly it's just the fast pace lives we live that makes it more difficult, however if you promise to return the favour when they go on holiday, everyone is a winner.
The reason giving you neighbour a key and asking them to call around and actually enter your home works as a burglar deterrent is that most burglars will stake out a home for a few days before making a move and if they see someone entering and leaving that house whilst they are watching it they will more often than not move on and choose another home.
This isn't a foolproof method as the burglar may choose times and days when you neighbour doesn't enter you home, but it does decrease the likelihood of you getting burgled whilst away on you holiday.
Other tips for making sure you don't fall victim to the burglar include;
- Installing a good quality burglar alarm
- Installing a modern CCTV system that can be monitored via your phone or tablet
- Making sure you have good quality locks on all doors and windows
- Investing in timers for your lights so they turn on in when it goes dark
In Summary, you can make it more difficult for the burglar by being sensible, using common sense and being cautious, enjoy your holidays.