Going away this Christmas? How to keep your home safe

December 17, 2021

This article was written for Annabel & Grace, which is now part of Rest Less.

The festive holiday is almost here. It’s such a welcome escape from the normality of our lives. Even if you are worried about squeezing that huge turkey into your oven, it’s still a time to relax with your loved ones and friends. Although many of us will be entertaining in our own homes, quite a few people will be visiting relatives or, Covid permitting, escaping to warmer climes. So, if you are going away, why not take thirty seconds to read these pointers on how to keep your home safe.

Make it look as if there’s someone at home 

It definitely deters burglars by making your property look less like easy pickings. Bag yourself a low cost timer from your local hardware store or supermarket. Simply plug it in to your television, radio or lights and then set it to turn on and off.

Motion activated sensor lights switch on glaringly at the first sign of movement outside your property. Battery operated removable cordless lights are available for £12 or so each – it makes sense to have some sort of sensor lights at the front, side and back of your home.

Cancel any regular deliveries – milk, newspapers and so on.

Keep keys and other valuables out of sight

Several years ago I left my car keys on the hall table. In the middle of the night a thief poked a stick with a magnet on the end through our letterbox and then simply pressed the remote to see which car he was going to have the pleasure of nicking. I’d only had the car a couple of months so it really hurt – definitely haven’t made that mistake again – in fact we haven’t had a hall table since.

Check your locks are secure

Doors should have a BS3621 five lever mortice deadlock and windows BS7950 locks (will help reduce your insurance premium too).

Check all windows are securely fastened.

If you use a mortice lock, best not to leave the keys in the door. When I got locked out of my house last year, the locksmith told me that it’s very easy for a burglar to twist a mortice key from the outside. All they then have to do is use a piece of plastic to unlock your Yale and they are in. He also told me that security door bolts are probably the best protection for your door.

Ask a trusted neighbour to pop in

If you have a kind neighbour ask them if they can open and close curtains and remove any obvious signs that you are away ie large envelopes that have got stuck in your letterbox, or put back emptied dustbins.

Keep it to yourself

Last bit of friendly advice, probably best not to post on FaceBook or Instagram that you are whizzing down a red run, enjoying the free facilities at the executive club lounge at Heathrow, or sipping a rum cocktail on a palm fringed beach next to azure sea… that could alert burglars and will definitely make your friends very jealous indeed.

Have a good journey and a happy holiday…

More wellbeing articles can be found here

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