Security advice for the summer
“We’re all going on a Summer holiday, No more working for a week or two, fun and laughter on our summer holiday, no more worries for....” Oh shut up, Cliff. We aren’t all on holidays, you know. Bloody Cliff, always making assumptions for me or you, that’s him. But anyway, as he brought it up, yes it does seem to be the time of year when a lot of people are jetting off to sunnier climes. Climes, that’s an odd word, isn’t it. Climes. Climes. Say it often enough and it loses all meaning. Climes. Climes. I think I need a holiday myself.
Apologies in advance if you’re not planning on taking a holiday this year, or if you were but then you got to the airport to find someone had left the tickets behind on the hall table and now your family’s not talking to you, and LOOK IT’S EASILY DONE. If you’re not going away, take solace in the fact that you’ll at least be reducing the risk of falling victim to the crime that’s the subject of this blog. That doesn’t mean you can get away without reading it though. I’ll be able to tell, you know. Plus the information that follows will also be useful to those who aren’t having a few weeks away in warmer climes. Climes, again, see. It’s just a weird word.
Leaving your house unoccupied
Right, so we’re talking about you leaving your house unoccupied, whether this be for a few weeks, a weekend, or even just an evening. This is the time when you are most susceptible to a break-in. Burglars love an empty house – it means they can take their time, picking up the most valuable items, knowing there’s little risk of being disturbed. Far easier than trying to accomplish the task quietly with a whole houseful sleeping upstairs.
My simple philosophy is to always do all you can to make it look as if your house is occupied. Whatever else you do, always keep that one tip in mind. Put yourself in the head of a burglar. You see two houses- one is dark, no signs of life, the other has a car outside, lights on, perhaps some music playing. Which one is the easiest target? It’s a no-brainer.
The first thing I’d do is offer the use of your drive to a neighbour or friend. This has the added advantage of also putting you in their good books if they usually have to park on the road or elsewhere. The greater advantage will be to you though – whether you’ve parked your car at an airport (thus doubling the cost of your holiday!) or driven to your chosen destination, the result will be a noticeably empty space on your drive and this is a telltale sign that no-one is in.
And when you’re in the good books with your neighbour, now might be the ideal time to ask them to look after a key and come in to your house every few days to pick up the post, water your plants, and perhaps open or close your curtains. Don’t forget to also cancel any milk and newspaper deliveries.
Lights make a huge difference to a house’s appearance. If you’re away for a holiday, or even just an evening, having a light or two on will really help to hide the fact that the house is empty. We’re not talking about ramping up the electricity bill here – no need to put on all the lights all of the time. A simple timer will do the job, switching on a light or two at different intervals throughout the evening.
As we’re all doubtless aware by now, the internet can be a double-edged sword. Great in terms of socialising, catching up with the news, perhaps reading an informative locksmith blog, but not so great if you value your privacy. This is particularly pertinent when you’re on holiday. Posting pictures from the beach or pool works wonders in terms of making your Facebook and Twitter friends jealous, but it also makes it pretty obvious to all and sundry that you’re a long way from home. This isn’t a groundless warning –there have been plenty of cases of burglars trawling through social media posts to find out who’s away from their house on holiday, and then targeting that property. Be VERY careful what you share on social media, check your privacy settings so that only friends can view your posts, and have a regular check of your Instagram followers to find out exactly who is following you.
Think carefully about home security
I hope these tips haven’t scared you off leaving your house to enjoy a holiday. It’s useful just to consider these things before jetting off and leaving the house unattended. Nothing will quite bring you back to earth with a bang more than returning to find a ransacked house. The benefits brought by a holiday soon wear off if you spend the first 24 hours that you’re back dealing with police, insurance and, dare I say it, locksmiths!
Whether you are or aren’t going away this summer, wishing you all the best for the remaining summer months.
As ever, for any Rotherham locksmith related query, please contact me on 01709 711055