Enjoy a carefree holiday by following these simple 5 Summer Home Security Tips from ADT.co.uk.
School's out and summer's here - for many people this means time to enjoy a well-earned break.
Maybe you're heading abroad for a couple of weeks, or you might be relaxing closer to home for a weekend break - but however long you plan to be away for it's worth taking a few simple steps to bolster your home security.
Read on to find out our top five tips:
If your home appears empty, you could become a sitting target for opportunist or planned burglary. The best way to avoid this is to make your home look lived in while you're away. Set timer switches so lights, televisions and music systems are switched on and off throughout the day and evening. Don't forget to cancel milk and paper deliveries, too. But avoid shutting all your curtains - nothing else shouts "we're not in" louder!
Tell a trusted friend or neighbour that you're going away - they can keep an eye on your property and help you out in a number of ways. Ask them to park on your driveway or use your bins for their rubbish. They could pop in and pick up your mail - this will prevent letters building up on your doormat or sticking out of the letterbox. If this isn't an option, it's worth considering Royal Mail's Keepsafe service - they'll hold on to letters and parcels for up to 66 days for you so you can enjoy a more carefree holiday. Head to The Royal Mail for more details.
As tempting as it may be to share your holiday plans on your favourite social media sites, do you really know who's reading your facebook status or Twitter feed? You may have innocently posted a snap from the beach, but Geolocation on many mobile devices can highlight that you're thousands of miles from home (and your house is empty). So think carefully before advertising your travel plans online, especially if your security settings are in doubt. And even if you've kept quiet about your getaway, it could be worth checking that your teenage kids haven't let everyone in on the secret.
It sounds simple, but check all windows and doors are shut and securely locked before you leave - that includes sheds and garages. Don't leave keys or valuables in view either, and use a safe for anything really precious. Your insurance claim could be jeopardised if you haven't taken reasonable care to secure your home - a costly mistake to make. If you have a home alarm, set it! Obvious it may be, but in the hurry to get away, this is often overlooked.
Think carefully about how you label your luggage. A few simple pointers will help keep your home safe as well as reuniting you with your bags if they're lost en route. By all means add your name, mobile number, email address and destination details, but leave your home address and landline number off. Similarly, if you take a cab to the airport, it's wise not to discuss your travel details in depth (unless you know your driver well) - but you could make it sound as if you have a house sitter in your absence.
So while you're crossing off your last few holiday preparations, stocking up on sun cream or packing your final essentials, don't forget to take a bit of time to focus on leaving your home as secure as possible. It will mean that you'll remember your holiday for all the right reasons - not for what you came back to.