Holiday Security Tips - Preventing Burglaries When You Are Away
School holidays or a long weekend does not mean that offenders take a break too. A home or business that looks unattended sticks out like a sore thumb - making you a prime target for a burglary.
Creating a feeling or impression of continued activity, is key by keeping your home or business as normal-looking as possible during the holiday break.
1. Let trusted neighbours know that you are going to be away, for how long, and how to contact you in case of an emergency.
2. Consider a house-sitter, relative, neighbour or friend to attend every few days and look after your home while you are away:
• Check around the house
• Maintain your garden and mow the lawn if you are going away for an extended period of time
• Take your bins in and out
• Move your car(s), keep one on the driveway, or occasionally park their car in your driveway
• Empty your mailbox
• Move the curtains
• Hang old clothes on the line
3. Ensure that your mail is collected regularly and not overflowing in your letterbox.
4. Cancel deliveries such as newspapers. Uncollected newspapers can be one of the most prominent signs of an empty home.
5. Ensure ladders and other garden tools that may be used to break into your house are secured away. Remember to lock the Wendy house and garage.
6. Let the security armed response or the neighbourhood watch know that you are going to be away.
7. Turn down or turn off the home telephone volume so that burglars cannot hear it ringing. Alternatively, setup call diversions to your mobile number if possible.
8. On your answering machine, do not say ‘We are on holidays and will be back on…’, instead say ‘We can’t come to the phone right now’.
9. Set up timers for:
• Interior lamps or lights to turn on at night, to make it look as if somebody is inside
• Radio or TV to turn on and off during the day.
10. Be wary of posting holiday plans on social media. Announcements on social media act as advertisements that your home is vacant.
11. Install exterior sensor lights.
12. Install good quality locks on all doors and windows, and double-check them before leaving.
13. Install a security alarm system, preferably one with back to base monitoring so you know you are in safe hands and there is an alarm response action in the event of an incident.
14. If applicable, place security signage in visible locations.
Author: Benhard Wiese