Jetting off on your holidays? It might be useful to wise up on advice the experts give to keep your home safe from burglars.
While it is common knowledge not to tag yourself in at an airport on social media as you leave, West Midlands Police have shared some less obvious pieces of advice all homeowners should make note of before vacating their home.
Along with in-depth information for what to do if you have been burgled , the West Midlands Police website offers tips on how to prevent being broken-into, with a specific section for holiday-makers.
1. Property mark your valuables
Whether you have your valuables engraved or use an infra red pen to mark your security code onto them, the police suggest property marking before you go away as a means of deterring thieves.
2. Lock your garage and secure tools
With tool thefts becoming increasingly common, the police advise contractors and anyone storing tools in their home or garage to secure them. Whether this means in a padlocked box or specialist secure storage, it’s worth taking the extra precaution to protect expensive equipment.
3. Hide financial documents and keys
Keys in particular should be kept away from windows or doors, as burglars could reach through the letter box or smash a window to gain access to the keys. Financial documents and keys should be kept in a safe place, especially when you go on holiday.
4. Don’t mention on your answering machine that you will be away from home
As well as not mentioning your holiday on social media whilst away from your home, the police make a noteworthy point that holiday-makers should also avoid essentially telling people the house is vacant on their answering machine.
5. Avoid displaying your name and address on your luggage
Most people would see this as a useful way to relocate their luggage, should it become lost. But the police instead advise travellers to put their address inside the case to help identification in the event of lost luggage.
6. Cancel the milk and papers
If you still have newspapers or milk delivered to your door, West Midlands Police say you should cancel them before jetting off on your holidays, as an abundance of uncollected items on your doorstep could alert burglars to your absence.
7. Get a friend or neighbour to collect your post and draw your curtains
Burglars could quickly cotton onto the fact a home is vacant if the curtains are open at night or closed during the day. Have your close friends, family or neighbours collect any post from outside your front door and draw your curtains at the appropriate time to make your home look lived in.
8. Cut the lawns
No one wants to come home to a jungle for a garden, but most importantly the police suggest when going on holiday, especially for a long period of time, homeowners first cut their lawns.
9. Set timer switches on lights and a radio Similar to the previous tip, this will help to complete the illusion of a fully occupied home, thus deterring burglars from breaking in.
10. Lock all doors and windows
It’s a fairly obvious one, but as the police have listed it in the advice on their website, clearly not all homeowners take this on board when heading off on holiday.