Featured on OwnHomeStyle.com
By Anthony Neary
So you’ve got the big trip planned. Hotels, transportation, and activities have all been arranged, and you’re excited about the big day. But before you go, make sure you make a few preparations a at home. Most burglaries occur when homeowners are on vacation. And many are pre-meditated. Burglars usually case a neighbourhood beforehand, checking out which houses look like they’d be easiest to break into. Houses that look deserted are ideal. The key to making your house look unappealing to burglars is to make it look like somebody’s home. Here are a few tips for keeping your house safe and secure while you’re away.
Have a neighbour pick up your newspapers. When you go away on holiday, you don’t want it to look like you’re gone. Newspapers accumulating on your step, an uncut lawn or an un-shoveled walk can all give clues to thieves casing your neighbourhood. Arrange for a neighbour to cut your grass, shovel your walk, and collect your newspapers—especially if you’ll be gone for a long time. If it isn’t possible to find a friend to take on all this work, hire a service that’s trustworthy and that comes with a good recommendation.
Hold your post. Have the post office hold your mail for you while you’re away. An overstuffed mailbox is just the kind of clue that thieves look for when deciding which homes to break into and which to leave alone.
Keep a light on. Robbers pick houses that are easynd safe to break into. They’ll stay away from homes that look like they’d take more than five minutes of work, or leave them too exposed. Leaving a light on can be a strong deterrent. An outside floodlight near your door is a good idea—it doesn’t have to be bright enough to disturb the neighbours, but it should give adequate illumination. You should also leave some lights on in your house so it doesn’t look deserted at night.
Consider timed lights. Timed lights are also a strong deterrent for thieves. Install timers in your lights that will turn them on and off at pre-determined intervals. It will look more realistic than just leaving the hall light on all the time—thieves casing your neighbourhood will think there’s someone at home when they see the light go on, and move on.
Don’t hide a key under the door mat. Most people keep a key in a concealed place outside of their house in case they lose their house key. But if you can find your hidden key, chances are a robber can, too. If you want to keep your house safe and secure, especially when you’re away, don’t hide a key anywhere outside the house. Give a friend or neighbour a spare key in case you lose yours—don’t make a regular practice of leaving one under the mat or in the flowerpot.
Draw the curtains. Don’t provide temptation. If you leave your window curtains open, robbers can see what’s in your house—your television, your stereo, or anything else they might want to steal. Don’t dangle your expensive belongings in front of thieves—especially when you’re away. Keep your blinds closed so robbers can’t tell that you might have something worth stealing.
Turn down the ringer on your phone. If you go away for an extended period of time, a lot of unanswered phone calls might draw attention from your neighbours. Watch out for this—especially if you live in a row home or apartment complex with thin walls, and you don’t know your neighbours well. You never know who might be on the lookout for an opportunity. Turn the ringer on the phone down, as well as the volume on your answering machine, so that nobody will notice all the phone calls that your answering machine picks up.
Going away on holiday is supposed to be relaxing. The last thing you want is to worry the whole time about whether your home is safe. Follow these simple tips for home security, and give yourself peace of mind. By taking just a few simple preparations beforehand, you’ll think less about your home security and more about the fun you’re having on your trip.
About the Author
Anthony Neary is director of www.thesafeshop.co.uk the UK’s premier online retailer of safes and fire security cabinets for home and business. For a selection of affordable cash boxes visit www.thesafeshop.co.uk/Categories/cash_boxes