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Keep your home safe while on holiday

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Planning on taking a holiday this summer? An empty house is a tempting target for burglars and vacations provide perfect opportunities for thieves to strike.

Arriving home from holiday to find your home has been burgled can be a devastating experience and matters will be made worse by the realisation that the thieves are long gone.

A holiday is meant to be a relaxing break from work and home. You don't want to be fearful of a house break-in while basking on the beach, especially if you are away for an extended summer break.

Fortunately, there are a few measures you can take to ensure your home is safe and secure while you are away from home on that long-awaited trip.

Families who have had house alarms fitted by Crown Securities UK can feel confident their home is adequately protected and, with the latest technology, they can even make the occasional visual check on their smartphone.

But even without a burglar alarm in the home families can take few basic preventative measures that will go a long way to making sure they enjoy their holiday to the full.

1. Tell neighbours and friends you will be away

Offer to do the same for them, and friendly neighbours will be pleased to keep an eye on the place while you are away. It can be useful to hand them a spare key and some contact information if they spot anything amiss. They can pick up any post, check on callers, water the plants and more. If you still feel anxious, there are home security apps on the market that can turn your tablet into a surveillance camera and let you watch a live feed on your smartphone while you are away.

2. Don't tell everyone about our holiday plans

In the modern world of social media, everyone is posting on Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. Share your holiday snaps if you wish, but it may pay but be aware that it may not just be family and friends who are reading them. The same can be said about leaving 'away from home' messages on answering machines or on voicemail. Don't tell callers that your house is empty for the next two weeks.

3. Check the garden before you go

If you plan an extended trip away, it's a good idea to check around the house and garden for anything that may suggest your home will be unoccupied. Items such as garden furniture may need storing away, so they don't get stolen but don't clear away so much that your home looks deserted. Even a cheap football left on the lawn or an old fork left standing in the garden makes it look like someone is around.

4. Don't close all the curtains

You may not want anyone peering in through your windows while you are away but curtains closed throughout the day is a dead ringer for the house being unoccupied. Closed curtains can also prevent your neighbours or police from viewing the inside of the house should something go wrong. Leave the curtains as they normally are — just make sure that expensive items such as computers or jewellery are not in plain view.

5. Don't leave the lights on

Switching on too many lights when you go away for a fortnight will not only rack up your electricity bill but be a beacon to burglars. Leave a single light on in the hall if you wish, but it's far better to invest in a timer that will switch lights on and off for you while you are away. There are quite a few programmable switching systems on the market today, and most are relatively cheap. And it's a good idea to unplug the TV, oven and other household appliances while you are away to protect them from power surges.

6. Disable the family car

If your car is staying behind, you can put it in the garage to keep it safe, or you can leave it outside on the drive to signal that the house is not empty. Either way, consider disabling it in some way, such as removing the battery, so it cannot be driven away. Always consult the manufacturer's guide before doing anything rash. And a spare key left with your neighbours will allow them to move it in the event of an emergency.

You will probably have earned your holiday so make sure it is as worry-free as it can be. Of course, those who have has a home burglar alarm system installed by professionals like Crown Securities UK will have the benefit of knowing that their home is properly protected.

There are many home security systems on the market today, and the expert staff at Crown Securities can help you decide which one is best for your family home. For a free no-obligation quote give us a ring now on 0800 019 3911

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