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Peace of mind while you’re away

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Everyone enjoys a holiday, but you want to come home and find everything as you left it. Almost half of all burglaries happen when a flat or house is empty, so use these tips to keep your home secure while you’re away.

Make it look like your home is occupied

  • Don't close your curtains – in daytime this shows the house is empty. Think about getting automatic time-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark
  • Cancel any milk or newspaper deliveries so they can’t stack up and show you’re not there
  • Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind
  • Ask a trusted family member, friend or neighbour to look after your home and make it look like someone is living there. They can collect your mail, open and close the curtains, switch on lights, and even mow your lawn or park on your drive
  • Don’t label any keys you leave with your house number, address or name

Simple security precautions

  • Fit mortise locks or bolts to all outside doors, and locks to all downstairs or easily accessible windows
  • Don't leave valuables like your TV, music or gaming systems, laptop or tablet where they can be seen through windows
  • Mark valuable items with your postcode and house number using an 'invisible' security marker. If your property is stolen and recovered, this will help the police to identify and return it to you, and could also provide them with evidence to convict the people responsible
  • Register your valuables with www.immobilise.com for the same reason
  • Make sure you have up-to-date contents insurance
  • Put all your tools away so they cannot be used to break into your house and lock the garage and shed with proper security locks.
  • If you have to leave a ladder out, put it on its side and lock it to a secure fixture with a 'close shackle' padlock or heavy-duty chain
  • Make it difficult for burglars by locking all side or back gates, and adding trellis to the top of walls and fences. Fit lights that come on at night to cover the sides and back of your house
  • Lock all outside doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set
  • Don’t put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination
  • Just before you set off, spend a couple of minutes checking that you've done all you had to do and taken everything you need with you
  • Let a trusted neighbour know when you will be away, and give them details so they can contact you, or someone who can act on your behalf, in an emergency
  • Find out if there’s a Neighbourhood Watch scheme where you live – call 01933 664146 or visit www.northamptonshireneighbourhoodwatch.co.uk for more information on existing schemes and how to set one up where you live

If you return home to find you’ve had a break-in while you’ve been away, call 101 to report it to police. If you disturb a crime in progress or there’s a risk to life, call 999.

To speak to our crime prevention team about protecting your home while you’re away email crimeprevention@northants.pnn.police.uk

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