By Brian Davenport, Owner and co-founder, The Solar Centre
As the weather warms up and summer approaches, many eagerly await the chance to go away and enjoy their summer vacation. However, leaving your home empty may put you at risk of being burgled as the police recorded over 250,000 instances of burglary last year and over 19,000 incidents reported in March 2022.
To avoid this happening to you, I share my top tips on how to secure your home properly when going away this summer.
Keep up appearances
A dark house at all hours of the day, mail piling up and an unmown lawn are all signs that someone isn’t home.
One report found 47 percent of burglaries are spur-of-the-moment acts with burglars looking for any hint that no one is home, so getting rid of these clues may make your house safer.
Before you go away, consider asking a neighbour to trim your lawn, or hire a lawn service to cut your grass while you’re away.
Using a timer switch, to turn on a couple of lights is a great way of creating the illusion that someone is home. These switches are readily available and can be turned on with an app or at a certain time . External automatic lights can also be a deterrent for anyone looking to sneak around your home.
Be cautious when sharing online
It can be really exciting to share the news of a holiday on social media, but this also lets dozens of people know your house is empty.
Data suggests 43 percent of burglaries are committed by someone known to the victim. If you’re keen on sharing your trip online, consider posting the details on your return so that no one knows when your home isn’t occupied.
Evidence suggests the likelihood of being observed while committing an offence is a huge factor in decision-making. Security cameras and motion-activated lighting all contribute to making your home seem like an inconvenient target.
Solar security lights have become increasingly popular over the past years as electricity prices and environmental pressures soar. Solar-powered security lights are bright, incredibly easy to install and there are no operating costs, making them a cost-effective solution.
Make it a challenge
Of course, it seems obvious to make sure that doors and windows are locked before you go away, but it turns out, that 21 percent of burglars, simply enter through an unlocked door.
So, it’s worth ensuring your doors are reinforced to make this as difficult as possible. There are several simple and cost-effective ways to prevent someone from breaking in a door.
Consider installing a deadbolt and hinge bolts, which make it significantly harder to break a door in. Reinforcing your door frame will also provide your door with added protection. For doors with glass windows, add security film, which will prevent them from shattering.
You’ll also want to make sure there aren’t any trees or sheds near the walls, that might make it easy for a burglar to climb and gain access from the second floor of your home.