TAKE CARE: Keep your home safe while your on holiday
Burglaries in the UK peak in December with 15,288 domestic burglaries and 10,710 commercial burglaries being reported in 2016, according to FOI data secured by Terry’s Fabrics.
People living in London, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire should be particularly weary as these are the areas where most burglaries take place.
Police-recorded crime has also risen by 10% in the last year across England and Wales – the largest annual rise for a decades according to Office for National Statistics.
With this in mind, we reveal eight easy ways to keep your house secure over the Christmas period.
SECURITY: The Canary Flex will monitor your home and let you know if any movement is detected
1. Get a home security system
One of the best ways to protect your house is to install a home security system. Canary Flex is one of the most high-tech home security systems on the market at present and it’s been receiving rave reviews from customers.
The easy-to-use system can be set up inside or outside your house as it’s weatherproof and built to withstand torrential rain and temperatures ranging from -20C to 45C.
At only 4.35 inches tall, it’s neat and compact and can be discreetly hidden anywhere in your home.
The Canary features an impressive 1080p HD camera with a 116º wide-angle lens and a microphone, so it can record high-quality video with sound.
It also has a night vision mode and switches automatically as soon as it starts getting dark.
How does it actually work?
The system can be connected to your phone so it can detect when you are leaving the house. The camera continuously monitors your home and if it detects any movement while you’re out it will send you a notification.
You can then play back the video to see if the “movement” is just your mum popping in to water the plants or something/someone less desirable.
The system really does give you amazing peace of mind while away on holiday and the battery lasts for three weeks – easily long enough for a trip.
If you are going for longer you can always leave it attached to the charging cable.
COVER UP: Make sure you keep you valuables out of sight
2. Don’t leave your house looking empty
There are obvious tell-tale signs that a house is unoccupied so make sure you don’t fall into the trap. There are simple measures you can put into place before you head off to fool potential burglars.
• Leave your blinds and curtains open – if your curtains are drawn during the day, this is an obvious sign that no one is home. If you have a trusting neighbour, ask them to pop into your house in the evening and morning to open and close your curtains.
• Ask your neighbour to also remove any post that is stacking up at the door. Alternatively you could sign up to Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service, which safely holds your post for anywhere between 14 to 66 days.
• Invest in a light timer that comes on automatically in the evening. Make sure the lamp is out of view from the window – a big giveaway if someone was looking through your window.
3. Hide all valuables in a safe place that isn’t obvious
Keep all valuables out of sight if someone was to look through the window. Don’t entice burglars by having all the latest gadgets in view, think smart about where you hide things.
In the unfortunate event that a burglar does try and rob you, spread your valuables out around the house and don’t hide them in obvious places, like your sock drawer or under your bed. A smart tip is to wrap jewellery in tin foil and hide it among other food items in your freezer.
4. Make sure you have the relevant home insurance
Before you head off, make sure you have the home insurance cover you need and that it’s valid when you’re not there.
Make sure you inform yourself of the exclusions in the policy too, you don’t want to be caught out by any surprises.
It’s also useful to find out how long your house can be empty for and take note of important contact numbers incase you need to call them when you’re on holiday.
DON’T BOAST: Don’t post on social media that you’re going on holiday
5. Don’t post on social media that you’re going on holiday
We’re all guilty of it, that airport check-in on Facebook before you jet off but we wary that this information is public and could be seen by an opportunist burglar.
Only tell close family and friends that you are heading away and for how long. If you can, try and wait until you get home to upload your holiday photos.
Former England captain John Terry was targeted by burglars recently after he shared images of him on holiday with his wife and family, stealing more than £400,000 of designer goods from the mansion.
6. Turn it Off
Ensure all electrical appliances are switched off at the wall before you head off on holiday, it’s not enough to simply turn the power off. This will not only save energy and money but it will reduce the fire risk in your home too.
7. Declutter your gutter
Your guttering provides drainage which in turn protects the windows, doors, siding and even foundations of your home from water damage caused by rain and storms.
Make sure your gutter is clear of leaves before you head off on holiday, overloading may cause your gutters to collapse and no one wants to come home to a flooded house.
8. Make sure your boiler is in good working order
If your boiler packs in when you’re on holiday it could mean you return to no hot water or heating – not the best situation to come back to after enjoying a sunny holiday abroad.
Make sure you’ve had your annual boiler service to ensure your boiler is in good working order.