Ask a friend or neighbour to keep a look out
There’s nothing like a pair of eyes on the ground. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your place and empty the letterbox while you’re away - perhaps even water the garden and park their car in your driveway every now and then to give your place a ‘lived in’ look (you can return the favour when they go away).
Make sure your letterbox is empty
Try to stop as much mail as you can (opting for electronic bank statements is a good start and can also help protect you from identity fraud). Put a hold on any newspaper or magazine subscriptions and slap a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox. If you can, get a friend to collect your mail while you’re away.
Check you’ve got the right locks on all your doors and windows
This is one to think about well before you leave – make sure all your doors and windows have good quality locks on them, in particular deadlocks on doors. You should also have them installed by a locksmith.
Do a last-minute security check
Before rushing out the door, do a check around the house of all windows and doors and double-check they’re all locked. The same goes for garages and sheds as well.
Getting the lighting right
You don’t want to leave your home blazing like a lighthouse the entire time you’re away – that’s a sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention. But you can set a few lamps on timers to come on in the early evening and switch off later to make it look like someone’s home. Installing exterior motion sensor lights is also a great way of stopping burglars in their tracks.
Lock up garages and put outdoor furniture away
Don’t make it easy for burglars! Make sure you’ve locked up all ladders, tools and even garden furniture in your garage or shed – burglars often use these to break in to homes. You should also maintain your garden and cut back trees or bushes close to your home to eliminate hiding places.
Less is more on social media
It’s natural to want to let your friends know that you’re having an amazing time, but friends might not be the only ones you’re letting know. Be wary of who can see your posts, as it can be an advertisement that you’re leaving your home unattended. You can always upload your pics when you get back...
Check your insurance is up-to-date
If you’re heading away, take a moment to check you’ve got insurance cover that’s right for you. If you’ve made any big ticket purchases since you purchased your policy, it might be worthwhile reviewing your cover before you go away.
Keep an inventory of what you own
It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of what you own. An easy way to do this is to go from room to room and listing your possessions. If any items have serial numbers, keep a note of these along with any receipts.
Once you’ve completed your inventory, keep it in a few different locations such as on a memory stick, your computer and cloud software.