Whether you've planned or are planning a holiday, romantic break or just a night away, often the excitement distracts you from essential tasks, leaving home security at the bottom of the list.
Here's some advice and ideas to consider from the police before you go, to help give you peace of mind while you're away.
Before you go
- To make your home look lived in, use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it becomes dark.
- Property mark belongings with your house number and postcode, take photos of property, particularly jewellery. Register your items for free at www.immobilise.com. Using this service will assist the police in returning property to the rightful owner should it be stolen and recovered.
- Remember to cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries.
- Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear details of your absence from home.
- Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that cover windows and doors or places where people could hide.
- Uncollected mail is a sign that you're away. Ask a neighbour or a friend to collect it for you or consider using the Royal Mail Keepsafe service.
- Store valuable documents or items in a safe. Alternatively consider leaving them with a family member, friend or a bank.
- If you normally leave valuable pedal cycles or similar in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
- Make sure valuable items such as laptops, games consoles etc. are not on view from the outside.
- Lock tools, ladders etc. away so that they cannot be used to gain entry to your home.
- Consider fitting PIR or low-level lighting and, where necessary, extra window and door locks.
- Make sure you have up-to-date building and contents insurance and check for any specific requirements relating to security.
- Make sure you’ve locked all your windows and doors, and if you have an alarm, use it!
While you're away
- Consider getting a relative, friend or neighbour to park on your drive if you have one, open and close the curtains, collect the post from the mat and water the garden.
- Be mindful of what you write or photos you share on social media which could identify you as being away on holiday.
- Ask a trusted neighbour to keep an eye on your property and leave a contact number so they can get in contact with you if anything happens.