Can't wait for your summer holidays? With schools breaking up for the summer this weekend, many families will be looking forward to going away. UK drivers are expected to take 13.4 million separate summer trips this weekend, with 5.3 million getaways by car on ‘Frantic Friday’ alone*. But how safe is your home, really, while you're away? There's more to it than locking doors and windows – and many of us appear to still be making classic mistakes that are leaving our homes vulnerable to break-ins according to home security company Ring (opens in new tab).
Still leaving a spare set of keys under the plant pot on the front porch? You're making it an easy job for professional burglars, who are well aware of all the common 'hidden' spots people leave their spare keys. The best course of action is to leave your spare keys with a friend or neighbour, never anywhere outside.
Have no one to come round at all while you're away? Thieves love empty properties, and dislike taking chances on homes that appear occupied. So, get a friend, or even a house sitter, to come round at least a few times to create the illusion of an occupied property.
Posting about your holiday on social media? This is by far the fastest growing behaviour that is putting millions of homes at risk of burglary. Currently, three in five UK social media posts mention being away on holiday, and professional burglars are increasingly paying attention. If you really feel the need to post about your travels as they are happening, set all your social media accounts to private for the duration of your holiday. Never post anything containing dates before you go away.
Finally, it's a good idea to start taking advantage of the smart technology that is now available to protect your home from intruders. Burglars know all about home security systems and video doorbells. If you have this type of smart technology installed in your home, make this obvious, for example by sticking a sign in your window. Now you can enjoy you holidays with peace of mind.
*According to a study by the car breakdown experts RAC (opens in new tab)