Police are reminding people to consider their home security when making plans for a holiday.
Whether it’s a month long trip or just a weekend break, it’s worth spending a bit of time making sure your property is as secure as it can be, to give you greater peace of mind while you’re away
Northamptonshire Police crime prevention manager, Paul Golley, says there are a number of things people can do or arrange before they go away to help keep their property safe.
He said: “As well as the obvious need to make sure all doors and windows are closed and locked, one of the main things you can do is make it look as though your house is still occupied.
“If you’re away for a couple of weeks or more and the flowers in the garden are wilting, the grass is looking a bit long and the mail is piling up on the hall floor, this can be an indication to a potential burglar that a house is empty.
“Do you have a friend or trusted neighbour who would be willing to keep an eye on things for you? If they can pick up any mail, open and close curtains, water plants and even cut the grass while you’re away, this can all help make it look like someone is at home.”
Here is a useful checklist of things to remember before you go away:
If you can, ask a friend, neighbour or relative to make regular checks of your property (but don’t put your name or address on the spare keys)
If they’re going to close curtains for you at night, make sure they’re able to call round and open them again in the mornings.
Remember to cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers.
Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear the details.
Take care what you post on social media – although it’s tempting to share news and photos while you’re away, you are advertising your absence from home.
Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any large bushes or hedges that a burglar could hide behind.
Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank, or lock them in a safe.
If you don’t have anyone to pick up your mail for you, the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you’re away.
Make tools and ladders are locked away so they can’t be used to break into the house, and lock up sheds, garages and outbuildings with good security locks.
If you have to leave a ladder outside, lay it on its side and lock it to a secure fixture with a ‘close shackle’ padlock or heavy duty chain.
Don’t put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination.
Finally, don’t forget to lock all doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it’s set.
For more information, visit www.northants.police.uk/crimeprevention.