The summer holidays are finally here!!
So what will you be doing over the next 6 weeks with the kids? Where have you booked to travel?
As lockdown eases around the country and with a gradual return to some form of normality, you might be planning a seaside holiday in the UK, or a trip abroad.
If the roadmap out of lockdown doesn’t change drastically and you’ve arrived at the destination of your choice, the last thing you want to be worrying about is that your home might be insecure – so what can you do to gain peace of mind?
We’re sharing five top tips on how to secure your home when on holiday, allowing you to concentrate on relaxing during your summer getaway.
With restrictions slightly lifted maybe you have booked something in the UK or are going abroad to somewhere more exotic?
With Quarantine-free travel resuming from 19 July for fully vaccinated passengers the following has been applied by the UK government;
- from 19 July, arrivals who have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), or are on a formally approved UK vaccine clinical trial, returning to England from amber list countries will no longer need to quarantine – passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel
- pre-departure testing and day 2 testing measures to remain
- children under the age of 18 to be exempt from quarantine on returning to England from amber countries
- the recommendation for people to not travel to amber countries will also be removed from 19 July – people should continue to check FCDO travel advice before booking travel
- news marks the next step in the cautious reopening of international travel, following the Prime Minister setting out plans earlier this week to ease COVID-19 restrictions in England from step 4 of the roadmap
So where will you be booking to go on your next holiday?
We recently spoke with a company called NV Travel Group and with optimism finally on the horizon they are booking more holidays than ever.
If you book something for the future you can get some amazing deals. Contact the owner Steve directly firstname.lastname@example.org or call them on 01375 271 028
So what has all this travel have to do with Security?
Well very simply this time of year sees an increase in the number of burglaries across the UK.
Is your home protected? It won’t happen to me, I have good locks and doors, my neighbours look after my house and water the plants whilst I am away….
We have heard it all before… But we have also seen the families that return home from an amazing holiday to find that their homes have been turned upside down.
So here’s some tips for you this summer…
Hope you have enjoyed the read and have contacted NV Travel for that next summer holiday.
Thanks for reading.
Jamie Reynolds – CEO A Matter Group
1. Ensure everything is locked and secure
This may seem obvious but we’ve all experienced that heart-in-mouth moment where we’re convinced we’ve left a window or door unlocked. A simple way to avoid this unnecessary stress is to create a checklist well in advance of your holiday. Add items such as ‘check each window’ and ‘lock the garden gate’ and make a point of spending 15 minutes making your way around your home and checking them off.
We also advise not just to consider your house – your outbuildings should also feature in your holiday security checklist. And make sure any tools which burglars can use to force their way into your home are also locked away.
Don’t leave expensive items on display – put yourself in a thief’s shoes and ask yourself if there’s anything immediately obvious which an opportunistic burglar might be able to grab.
If you have particularly valuable pieces of jewellery, consider investing in a quality safe or a bank safety deposit box.
Finally, if you keep a spare key hidden in a secret location then remove it. Determined thieves will know to check under mats, behind garden ornaments or other typical hiding places.
2. Give the illusion your home is occupied
A trusted friend, neighbour or family member is a valuable asset when it comes to making your home look occupied while you’re away. If you have someone you can trust to pop by to put mail out of view, keep the lawn mowed, or even to park their car in your driveway, these are all useful tactics to fool would-be burglars.
Cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers, and consider investing in Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service which means your mail will be held until you return rather than piling up on your doormat advertising your absence.
Alternatively, you might consider having someone move into your home while you’re away. This might be a friend or a professional home sitting service such as which can look after your home and any pets.
3. Don’t advertise the fact you’re away
It can be tempting to share your holiday snaps instantly online with family and friends but it is safer to do this when you’re back home.
Information shared with a small group of friends on social media can soon end up in the wrong hands. Expressing your excitement about a forthcoming trip will also notify people about when your home is likely to be empty. And if you have children who use social media, make sure they understand this too.
Other giveaways which are a boon to would-be thieves are:
- Leaving your car fully packed with suitcases on the driveway overnight
- Leaving your curtains permanently drawn while away
- Writing your home address on your luggage labels
- Leaving an answer phone message which tells people you’re on holiday
4. Invest in a professional home security system
There is a range of gadgets and technology designed for home security which will act as a deterrent to burglars.
Burglar alarms range in sophistication (and cost) from dummy boxes situated in a prominent location of a home to those with extensive sensors and links to security response firms.
We recommend that you contact an SSAIB or similar accredited company to ensure that the security system is insurance approved.
CCTV cameras and security lighting are also available for a range of budgets and are a good visual deterrent as well as offering a useful way of providing admissible evidence if a crime were committed.
Some modern smart camera systems are triggered by motion sensors and can send alerts to your mobile phone anywhere in the world. These systems have become more sophisticated, cheaper and more user friendly in recent years so may be worth another look if you’ve dismissed them previously.
Door and window locks are the most basic requirement of home security but they should be substantial enough to protect your property from forced entry. Window locks mean the thief would have to smash the window, which many are reluctant to do as the noise attracts unwanted attention. Door locks are only as good as the door and its frame so give consideration to their condition. A five-lever mortice lock is recommended by police and doors fitted with a combination of bolts and deadlocks will increase their strength. Contact a good locksmith if you have never had your locks changed on your home.
Property marking pens and electronic tagging devices are available to buy and mean that any valuable items which are stolen stand a greater chance of being identified and returned to you.
5. Get the right insurance
Despite taking every precaution to secure your home while on holiday, falling victim to crime is unfortunately always a risk.
This might be the first time you have gone away for over a year, so check you still have insurance and ensure you have the right cover in place. Every home insurance policy has limits on how much you can claim, so you need to make sure that you are covered for the full cost of replacing the things you own.