Top 10 Holiday Tips For Securing Your Home

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With the holiday season already upon us, the security experts at Yale have come up with some top tips for securing your home, whilst you’re soaking up the sun.

 

1. Secure all external doors – it may seem obvious but fitting an incorrect or sub-standard lock can impact on the vulnerability of your home, as well as potentially compromise your insurance. If you’re going away, take the opportunity to check that all doors are fitted with the correct lock before you leave. Use a mortice lock and/or a nightlatch on external timber doors.

2. Don’t forget the windows – windows are a common point of entry for burglars and can be even more vulnerable if your house appears to be empty. Make sure all windows are fitted with at least one appropriate lock, especially ground floor windows which have the potential to be accessed easily.  Even if your home looks unoccupied, burglars will still avoid smashing windows to avoid leaving DNA if they cut themselves and will instead try to force the window frame itself, so be sure you fit window locks that can withstand force and manipulation.

3. Set your alarm – 60% of burglaries attempted on homes with alarms are unsuccessful. As well as providing a visual deterrent to potential burglars, alarms are vital for alerting your neighbours. Yale’s wirefree alarm kits are quick and easy to install and offer discreet protection for all types of properties, from flats to large family homes.

4. Sheds, garages and outbuildings – don’t tempt opportunist thieves by leaving sheds, garages and outbuildings poorly secured, especially if they include an integral door leading to your house. As well as containing valuable items, many will also house ladders and tools that could prove useful to burglars. By fitting a heavy-duty padlock, anchor lock or cable, you can secure individual items as well as deter would-be thieves.

5. Spare keys – you may be used to leaving your keys in a ‘safe’ hiding place but this is just inviting trouble. Never leave your spare keys under the mat or in another outdoor hiding place - burglars know where to look. Leave them with a trusted neighbour instead.

6. Neighbourly help – it’s always a good idea to ask a friend, neighbour or family member to look after your home while you’re away. Ask them to draw the curtains and collect your post. This can create the illusion that your home is occupied and it’s always good to know someone is keeping a friendly eye on your home.
 
7. Cancel the papers and milk - think ahead and cancel your milk and papers well in advance. A few days worth of newspapers piled in the porch is a giveaway that you’re on holiday.

8. Lighting – time switches can turn lights on and off when you’re away, giving the impression that your home is occupied. For outside, movement-sensitive security lights can deter would-be intruders, making it harder to break in undetected by creating some unwanted attention and alerting neighbours.

9. Secure your valuables – you may think you take your most important possessions with you on holiday - your passport, driving license and bank cards - but it’s also important to secure the things you leave behind, to prevent identity theft. Installing a home safe, bolted securely to the floor or wall, to store sensitive documents such as bills and birth certificates as well as valuable jewelery or ornaments, is a great way of protecting your personal possessions.

Yale offers a range of electronic and key operated safes to enable belongings to be stored securely.

10. And finally – make sure your luggage is secure while you travel too. Combination padlocks can keep your bags and their contents safe in transit, and ID-tag locks can help your luggage to be traced, should it be lost. Yale offers a range of easily identifiable, brightly coloured locks, including a TSA Travel Range that allow US security personnel to carry out security checks, without damaging your locks or luggage.

All of the Yale security products recommended are available in many large retailers and hardware stores, or through your local locksmith.