Statistically, simply by leaving your home unoccupied, you are putting it at a much greater chance of being burgled. More than 80% of burglaries happen in empty houses, reports Good Housekeeping; however, this doesn’t mean that your residential possessions have to be at risk whenever you head off for work or a leisurely trip. Here are some ways that you can increase the likelihood of your home and its contents remaining intact during occasions when you are at a distance from them.
A matter of timing… light timing, that is
One classic tip for making an empty house look occupied is leaving lights switched on in a way that can be seen from the outside. However, it’s worth being more clever than this by shelling out for some automatic timer switches. It’s possible to pay as little as about £12 for each one – and, typically, you can program them to switch lights on either randomly or at specific times.
Patch up damage that a burglar could take advantage of
Burglars are typically opportunists. Therefore, should your residence be showing obvious damage that could make it easier for them to break in, it would be a good idea too, as far as practically possible, have it repaired before you leave. Even harder-to-spot damage, like to a flat roof, should be tended to. A local company might be able to inspect damage free-of-charge before presenting a quote for its repair; Findley Roofing, for example, can do all of this for a roof repair in the North East.
Ask someone trustworthy to keep an eye on your home
Scattered leaves or overgrown lawns can be clear signs that a property has been left unoccupied for an extended period of time. However, you don’t have to leave either of those giveaways if you arrange for someone you know and trust to take care of that lawn and those leaves. They could also collect mail that is left in your letterbox and, should they have more than one car, park one in your own drive. This helpful person might be willing to do all of this for just a box of chocolates!
Increase the safety of your valuables
If you need to leave valuables in the home at all, then leave them out of open view – to either anyone outside the building or any intruder walking inside it. You could also place those precious items around several, hard-to-reach locations; if there is an intruder, they might not be willing to spend a lot of time looking high and low around the building for your hoard.
Resist advertising your travel plans on social media
Information about where – and for how long – you are going should not be imparted to anyone beyond your immediate friends and family. This means keeping those details off the likes of Facebook and Twitter, as you can’t be certain that unscrupulous people won’t read your comments, warns Saga. Wait until after the trip before you more openly tell many people about it.
Author: Annie Ringwald