There can be little worse than returning from a relaxing holiday to find out that you have been burgled, and the sad fact that so many people find themselves in this position every year means that changes have to be made.
If you are planning a getaway this year and don't want to leave your house and valuables at risk then follow this 10 step guide.
1. Doors and windows - It might sound silly but making sure that all of your doors and windows are properly locked is a must, if you have the option to apply a deadlock then these must be used and never leave a window on ‘vent’ these can offer the opportune thief a way to force their way in.
2. Remove the spare key - Never hide a key under the doormat or behind a plant pot, one a burglar realises that you aren’t at home, the porch is likely to be the first place that they check.
3. Voicemail - Never leave a voicemail on your home phone to say that you are away, it just gives up the information that a burglar requires.
4. Don’t shout about it - Ok, so you’re excited about going away but talking about it in the street, at work or on a social network is a sure fire way for you to give out unwanted information, any you never know who is looking or listening.
5. Buy an alarm - Installing an alarm or camera, like the ones available from Big Brother Systems is arguably the best way to protect your home and with the developments in technology it is now possible to stream the images in high definition, straight to your tablet or smartphone.
6. Warn a neighbour - Letting a neighbour who you trust to keep an eye on your property is a good safety practice, but make sure you alert them of the alarm code or provide them with a key.
7. Make your home appear lived in - If you have bins to go out make sure a friend or relative can do this, if it looks like you are doing your usual jobs then you may fool a potential burglar.
8. Cancel the milk and papers - Not only will these two things cost you money, a selection of unused milk bottles and unread papers will alert passers by that you aren’t around, cancel or delay these services.
9. Use electrical timers - Simple electrical timers which can be preset to turn the lights on and off in your house can be a good way to make it appear as if you are around.
10. Airport parking - If you plan to jet away and leave your car at the airport make sure that any sat nav devices are out of site, the opportunist might not only take this expensive electronic device, but programming it to your unoccupied home could cause more problems.