When you’ve worked hard all year and the weather is finally warming up, you want to go on holiday with friends or on a family vacation without stress. Vacation periods, such as school holiday time, are prime opportunities for burglars to strike. We’ve collected our 6 top tips for keeping your home secure this summer:
Burglars are also social media friends
It’s not just you and your friends on Instagram and Facebook – it’s also a place where would-be thieves go to read information about you and your family on holiday. If you’re posting information or photos on a public social media profile, it’s easy for a burglar to assume you aren’t home. It’s an open invitation to take a look in your side window or through your balcony door. Update your social media profile settings to ‘Private’, and if you do post photos from your holidays, just don’t include captions with details about when, where and for how long you’re away.
House sitter security strategy
To avoid burglaries, a great way is to make it look like somebody is at home – actually having somebody at home is even better! Maybe a trusted friend is looking for a city break just as you’re going to the countryside, or vice versa. Some people pay their house sitters, some leave them some nice food in the fridge, and some take it that the house sitter gets a free accommodation. If nobody springs to mind as a suitable house sitter, there are many online house sitter match-up sites for you to choose from.
Some mail a day keeps the burglar away
It’s a classic, but still relevant: ask a neighbour to collect your mail for you. Newspapers scattered over the lawn or a post slot jammed with letters and junk mail is a clear sign nobody has picked it up in a while. If you’re often away, consider a post office box as your main form of receiving mail so that then there isn’t such a build-up of letters in the mailbox – a clear signal to burglars that you are away. Some crafty burglars will leave a junk mail slip in your doorframe, as a strategy to see if you’ve been coming and going during the summer holidays.
Keep an eye on your home
A security camera is a great way to ensure that your home is safe while you’re away. With a camera like the Smartfrog Cam, you can see into your own four walls from anywhere in the world, at any time, via your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Home surveillance solutions can be quick to install and easy to use, and – if you’re blissfully offline on a vacation somewhere, you can also share the link to your camera’s live feed with a trusted friend or neighbour, so that they can check in on your behalf.
Save your electronic devices
Back up your devices and leave external hard drives and important documents with a trusted friend or family member. If you’re leaving a computer or smartphone at home, set it up to be geo-tracked, to require a fingerprint or code login and to be remotely wiped by you from a desktop, should you wish.
Secure your windows
If you’re having a ‘staycation’ – staying at home for your holiday time – be aware that your home could still be a target for thieves. Many burglaries happen during the evening, so be conscious of open windows on warm nights and don’t go to bed until they’re secured – closed or open. You can install metal screens in your windows to help with airflow and still keep your family secure, or a tilt and turn window. If you are at home with some time off work, the summer holidays are a time to make the necessary security home improvements, like replacing the rusty old lock on the garage, or buying a second bar lock for the back door and ground floor windows.