Finally, summer is here and for a few blissful weeks, we’ll get to enjoy that ‘holiday at home’ feeling; a breeze rippling through open windows, patio doors open to bring the outside in and of course, time to enjoy chilling out in the garden.
But for burglars, sunny days represent a very different prospect.
Most thieves are opportunistic, and with the warmer weather meaning that properties may be more easily accessible.
It’s all too easy to forget to shut a patio door, pop out for a few minutes and come back to find that valuables have been taken. Worse still, because the property wasn’t secured, a contents insurance policy may not cover the items stolen.
What can you do to secure your home this summer?
First off, let’s not think about locks and bolts for a minute. Think about social media.
If you’re going away on holiday, perhaps consider posting your pics when you get home, rather than while you’re away. Why? Because that Insta-worthy shot of your cocktail against a sunset together with a tag to the hotel you’re staying in is basically an open invitation to let would-be burglars know that you’re away.
Don’t advertise the fact that your home is empty. Instead, save those envy-inducing photos of the beach or pool on social media until you get back, even if your feed is private. You just never know who is looking.
Next, on a more practical level, consider windows and patio doors. Of course, when the weather is hot you’ll want to leave them open.
The thing is, unlike in the winter when it’s obvious if you’ve left a door or window open, in the warmer months it’s easy to not feel any difference in temperature and forget.
The next thing you know, you’ve gone out and by the time you return, a burglar has had easy access to your home. This is especially true of windows and doors at the back of a property.
Many intruders are known to make their entrance and exit via the garden, particularly if there is a lot of cover from trees and shrubs meaning that they won’t be overlooked.
Always make sure that you go through the same routine of locking up your property, even if you’re only going out for only a few minutes. If you want to leave bedroom windows open at night, perhaps consider installing restrictors so that they can’t be opened wide enough for anyone to get in.
Finally, sheds are normally an Aladdin’s cave for intruders. They tend to contain tools which are valuable and can be sold on easily and quickly, yet are generally not as secure as the rest of your home.
It’s relatively easy to break into a shed as door hinges or locks can normally be removed with a standard screwdriver. If you want to out-fox a thief, why not replace any standard screws and lock fittings with non-tamper versions which require specific tools to remove.
The opportunist burglar probably won’t have such specialist tools to hand, and once they work out it won’t be an easy or quick job, are likely to make a sharp exit.
So, whether you’re getting ready to jet off for that holiday, or just going out for a few hours, take an extra few minutes to make sure your home is secure. Along with a few other common-sense steps, you can relax and enjoy the sunshine. Just don’t forget your tanning lotion!