When preparing for a holiday, it can be easy to get caught in booking activities while you are on holiday, sorting out your spending money and packing everything but the kitchen sink, but there are a few things you need to think about for while you are gone. Obviously if you have any pets they will need to be looked after for the duration of the trip, and you will also need to make sure your home is properly protected while you are away.
It might seem like something you don’t really need to think about, but there are people who will look through towns, checking potential houses for signs that there are people away before they ‘hit up’ or ‘mark’ that house as a potential target for a break-in. It is a sad thought, but it will happen, particularly in disadvantaged areas or towns where there is normally an open and trustworthy community. If people come from out of town and appear to be acting suspicious, you’ll want to put certain security measures in place for when you start your holiday.
Here are a few tips that we would recommend;
<h2>Get a friend or neighbour to draw the curtains or stop by to check up</h2>
When there is regular activity in a property, thieves will consider it too high a risk to try a break in. In order to reduce the risk of your property becoming a target, ask a friend or a relative to enter the property every now and then to close and open curtains, just to give the semblance of someone still being present in the property. You can also ask your neighbour to do this for you, if you live in a close knit neighbourhood. This leads to our next point;
<h2>Avoid leaving keys under doormats</h2>
If you are letting a friend or relative house-sit or at least enter the house at different intervals while you are away, do not leave a spare key for them. Give them a spare key to keep on a keyring that they will keep with them at all times until you return from holiday. By leaving spare keys for neighbours and friends to use, this can and will increase the risk of your house being broken into.
When thieves are looking at a potential target they will check easy ‘key’ locations, including under the doormat, in nearby plant pots and may also scout out the letterbox to see if there are any visible key cabinets near the front door. Completely take away this option for thieves by giving a spare key directly to the person who will look after your house while you are away.
<h2>Security Blocks and Security Fencing for vacant properties</h2>
When it comes to vacant properties, you might want to take a bit of a different approach. If the property is in the middle of being built and there is no furniture or front door as such, the property is still at risk of being inhabited by travellers or squatters. Once people move in it can be hard to get rid of them without having to pay someone to officially evict them.
Prevent these issues from occurring by hiring concrete blocks to prevent access to your site. Concrete blocks can also prevent access from caravans, so they serve a number of purposes. You can also invest in plastic barriers if you’re not entirely sure about concrete blocks, as plastic barriers are easy to move and can be weighted down with sand or water for security purposes. Double up your security around the property by adding metal temporary security fencing, which comes in a variety of sizes and is easy to set up and remove after use.
Although nobody likes to have to worry about the safety of their home, particularly while they are supposed to be off enjoying themselves on holiday, it is a necessary precaution you need to take in order to make sure that everything is fine when you get back. A lot of it does depend on where you live, but some thieves may scout out houses months in advance, just waiting for an opportunity to break in. By ensuring that your home is well protected, you will make sure those thieves never get their chance. It is better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best than to be unprepared!
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry working together with construction, concrete and barrier specialists Maltaward (Barriers) ltd – who were consulted over the information in this post.