Heading off on holiday this year? You’ve probably already renewed your passport, bought more sun cream than you need and double checked the tickets a thousand times. However, home security is often overlooked and left to the last minute — despite 60% of burglaries occurring when properties are empty.

Ensuring your property is secure for the duration of your trip is crucial regardless of how long you’re away for. From weekend breaks to extended vacations, security systems specialist GPS Installations shows how to keep your home safe this summer.

Lock it up

Locking up your property may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget about an open window or exterior building. Before your holiday, examine the current locks on your property to make sure they are completely secure. Carry out repairs and replacements where necessary.

Check all windows and doors are shut and locked before you leave. In addition, make sure sheds, garages and outside storage are locked up too, to keep your belongings safe.

Make it look occupied

If it looks like your home is occupied, the property will become less of a target, as the high risk could deter potential thieves. There are a number of ways you can make your property look lived in, including:

  • Cancelling deliveries — a build-up of milk or newspapers on your doorstep is a clear sign that your property is empty. Cancel the deliveries before you leave.
  • Ask a trusted neighbour, friend or family member to call round — if your curtains haven’t been opened in the best part of a week, suspicions may start to arise that your property is empty. To give the appearance of someone living there, give your keys to a trusted neighbour, friend or family member and ask them to pop in every day to open/shut the curtains and clear the mail. Don’t forget to give them your house alarm pin too, if you have one.
  • Consider light timers — invest in timer switches to turn lights on and off at certain times, creating the illusion that somebody is inside your home.

Consider deterrents

Deterrents like house alarms and CCTV systems can help prevent break in’s from happening all together. Dummy systems are available and, while they are intended to deter, criminals are often able to spot the difference between a dummy and the real thing.

In addition, you’ll actually benefit more by having a real system installed. For example, a working alarm system will alert your neighbour to an intruder and potentially scare them off. Likewise, CCTV systems can capture criminals in the act, which could help lead to a prosecution.

Deterrents can benefit virtually any property, so they’re always worth considering.

Check your home insurance policy

Should the worst happen and your property is broken into, you’ll want the peace of mind that you’re covered for the items taken and the damage caused. Before you set off on holiday, check that your home insurance policy is still valid and make sure it offers the correct cover for your needs. Don’t leave anything to chance just to keep costs down — it could cost you a lot more in the long run.

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