An overgrown lawn and a pile of newspapers in the driveway is the equivalent of a big billboard in the middle of your front yard saying, “I’m on holidays – help yourself to my stuff”.
Other telltale signs for thieves include forgotten radios blaring 24 hours a day, lights that stay on all night and curtains, which are normally open during the day, being left closed.
So, what can you do to make sure your home is not a target for burglars while you’re on holidays?
- Make sure all windows are closed and locked
- Activate deadlocks on all doors
- Don’t forget to lock garages and sheds
- Set timers to turn certain lights on for a couple of hours in the evening, or to turn the television on for certain programs
- Set alarm systems. Put your valuables in a safety deposit box
- If you have a monitored electronic alarm system, it is critical to let base station know when you’re going away; and to give them contact details for key holders in case the alarm goes off
- If you have home automation, program it to turn lights and appliances (televisions and radios) on and off at times when you’re normally home. You may even be able to have your blinds adjusted at different times of the day
- Get a neighbour or friend to clear the mailbox, put your bins on the street on bin night and take them in the next day. If necessary, give them a spare key and the PIN for your alarm system so they can get into the house and adjust curtains, blinds, etc.
- Don’t leave a spare key under the mat or in another ‘secret’ hiding place. Experienced burglars have seen most of them before and know where to look
- Get the post office to hold your mail and cancel any other regular home deliveries
- Get a neighbour to park a car in the driveway
- Put some old clothes on the washing line
- Trim the bushes and arrange for lawns to be cut if you’re away for more than a fortnight
- Lock your power box with an electricity authority lock (to which you and the electricity company have a key) so that alarm systems can’t be cut off from the power supply
Article written by Carl Holm