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How to protect your home during the holidays

Nothing can ruin your holiday more than returning home to find that you have been burgled. Sadly, having our homes broken into and our possessions stolen is more common than some people realise. According to some figures, every 40 seconds a home somewhere in Britain is burgled, with the most commonly stolen items including cash and jewellery as well as home entertainment equipment. While your physical possessions can in most cases be replaced, it’s the psychological impact that is harder to resolve, with many victims feeling not only angry and upset but also vulnerable following a break in.

How to prevent a break in

Whether you are leaving your home empty for a day, a week or a month, it is important that you make it an unattractive proposition for a criminal. This means either convincing them that your property is too well guarded for them to be able to get away with their offense, or that it unlikely to be a lucrative haul.

Opportunistic criminals are likely to target properties which seem vulnerable, perhaps with broken fences or gates, or open windows where they can easily gain entry. So always lock your doors and shut your windows when you leave your property and make sure that you fix up any broken entry points that they could use to gain access.

Equally, a criminal might believe that they will be able to access your property by breaking a window, climbing a fence, or picking a lock. You can deter them by installing CCTV cameras, security lighting, putting up a ‘beware of the dog’ sign, a ‘neighbourhood watch’ poster, or installing a home alarm system – with visible warnings.

It’s also important that you don’t broadcast to the world that you’re going away on holiday. Use the Royal Mail’s holding service so that your post isn’t left hanging out your letterbox and pause any regular deliveries you have like newspapers or milk.

Another good tip is to ask friends and family to keep an eye on your property. If a neighbour has two cars then you could ask them if they would mind parking on your drive while you are away, while you can ask a friend or family member to drop by your property on their way home to make sure everything is ok.

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