ALMOST eight out of 10 burglars scour social media to find ‘empty’ homes during the summer holidays, according to UK security experts.
Every year during the winter and the dark nights the level of burglaries increases, but many burglars rely on householders taking their eye off the ball when the clocks have gone forward and the warmer weather is here in summer.
In 2014 during the warmer months there were more than 200,000 burglaries in the UK (source: ukcrimestats.com). And experts from leading UK home security company eSafes.co.uk have highlighted the two reasons why.
Stephen Wylde, eSafes Director, said: “Firstly more people leave their windows and back doors open on sunny days which thieves take advantage of.
“Secondly, and most importantly, as people take their annual summer holidays at this time of year thieves are preying on the empty houses left behind.
“Brits are much more aware of the threats during the darker winter months but clearly feel more relaxed about home security during the summer. And it is this relaxation of security that burglars rely on.
“So to combat this problem we have pulled together 5 simple steps to help people protect their home while they’re away soaking up the sun.”
1. Don’t tell the world your home is empty. It can be tempting to post a cheeky selfie at the airport or on the beach to show your friends you’re off on your holidays. However 78% of thieves use social media to find empty houses (source: mediabistro.com) so we’d always advise that you resist posting status updates like this to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
2. Make the house appear lived in. If you get newspapers or milk delivered then cancel them during your holiday as a build-up is just like erecting a sign that says “no one is home” which will attract burglars. Also if you’ve got timers for your lights then we recommend using these as well to make the house appear occupied.
3. Enlist a neighbour or family member. One of the best deterrents is to ask your neighbour or a family member to come around and do every day things like move your post, put your bins out and park a car on your driveway. All these little things will put a burglar off who may have been monitoring your home.
4. Lock all windows and doors. Locking the front and back door is something we all do but can you honestly say that you regularly lock your windows too? 25% of break-ins occur via a window so they need to be locked. Time to remember where you put all those little window keys and start using them!
5. Keep valuables in a safe place. It might surprise you to hear that 51% of people don’t keep their valuables somewhere secure (source: confused.com) with 13% still keeping items in a sock drawer aka a burglars favourite place. If you have a safe make sure you use it to store all your valuables, keys, paperwork and cash in.
Stephen Wylde added: “An increasing number of us use social media and, clearly, we want to share our holiday experiences with friends and families. Our advice though, is to be careful about it and wait until you’re home from the beach before you do so.”