Summer is almost here. For many people, the change in temperature and lengthening of daylight hours means it’s time for a well-deserved beach holiday, countryside getaway, or intercontinental roadtrip.
Whatever it is that you decide to get up to this summer, have you thought about keeping your home safe while you’re away?
Although we spend a lot of time packing suitcases, making sure our pets are looked after, and planning our accommodation abroad, we often lose sight of the security of the home we’re leaving behind.
What’s there to worry about?
With more people taking an overseas holiday last year compared to the previous seven years, and with bookings up by 12% compared to 2018 (1), more families than ever across Europe are enjoying their holidays by spending time away from home.
This means that as people embark on family trips and holidays abroad, more and more homes will be left empty.
Although this is often the only option for most people (as opposed to hiring a house-sitter), an empty home means increased vulnerability to targeted break-ins, especially as burglaries have shown to be on the rise (2). Many burglars are opportunists, and if it looks like the homeowner is on holiday, they will be more inclined to try their luck.
Statistically, almost three quarters of burglaries occur with the main point of entry being a home’s front door, whilst 44% of people haven’t taken any measures to protect their homes (3).
Keeping your home safe this summer
To help ensure your peace of mind over this holiday season, we’ve put together a simple guide to keeping your home safe while you’re away.
It may seem obvious, but keeping your home safe starts with some basic fundamentals. Before you embark on your trip, make sure to:
Lock all doors and windows
A surprising number of burglaries take place because people forgot to lock all of their doors and windows. Leaving your doors and windows unlocked is an open invitation to burglars, so it’s critical to always double-check them before leaving the house, especially if you’ll be gone for a longer while.
Avoid hiding spare keys
Many homeowners still keep a spare set of keys somewhere in front of their house. This is a bad habit and a major security risk. Your key is never hidden as well as you think, and experienced burglars know the most common hiding places. If you have arranged for a neighbour or friend to check your post whilst you’re away, lending them a spare key is a far safer alternative.
Let your neighbours know you’re away
Ask a trusted neighbours to watch over your house while you’re away. To make this easier for your neighbour, provide them with as many practical guidelines as possible; like watering the plants once a week, checking the mailbox regularly, and opening the curtains from time to time.
What else can you do to keep your home safe?
Illuminate dark corners
Burglars love the dark, because they are less visible to passersby and neighbours. As a result, doorstep criminals can be especially active during nighttime hours when visibility is low.
By installing lights that turn on via a timer at night or that can be controlled via an app on your mobile device, you immediately make it more difficult for burglars to stay unseen.
One option for this is Ring’s range of motion-activated outdoor security cameras that come equipped with built-in floodlights, a siren alarm and two-way audio. Through these devices, you can see, hear and speak to anyone on your property through your mobile phone, regardless of where you are.
With a siren that can be triggered through the Ring app on your phone, you can not only scare off unsuspecting, unwanted visitors, but alert your neighbours, even while you’re away.
Assert your presence
The more visible your security solutions, the less likely it is that burglars see your house as an easy target. Adding cameras to monitor and protect your home will proactively deter unwanted guests from approaching the house in the first place. Take care when installing your devices to make sure you comply with relevant regulations.
Apart from this deterring effect, Ring’s range, including Video Doorbells, Spotlight Cams and Floodlight Cam, give you the power to monitor your front door, driveway, or back garden directly from your smartphone, in real time.
Through the built-in motion sensors, you’ll receive a notification if there’s any unwanted activity on your property, and you’ll immediately be able to act accordingly by notifying the right people.
Keep the inside of your home protected too
For an extra layer of security, it’s good to keep the inside of your home guarded too, providing you with an additional notification system in case of a break-in while you’re away.
With Ring’s Stick Up Cam, designed for both indoor and outdoor use, you’ll get a motion-activated notification if somebody comes in view of the device.
With the Stick Up Cam subtly positioned on a bookshelf or windowsill, you’ll have an optimal view of your living room, kitchen, or bedroom while you’re away. That way, you can be sure that nothing is going on inside your house while you’re enjoying your summer vacation.
Enjoying your time away
Ultimately, the summer holiday season should be about doing what’s important to you, regardless of whether it’s lying on the beach, hiking through the Alps, or spending quality time with your loved ones.
To help keep your mind at ease while you’re away, we recommend a combined approach to safety, thereby bringing together some of the tips listed above. First, make sure you’ve got all the basics right: locked doors and windows, neighbours who’ve been notified, and no spare keys hidden in obvious places.
By combining these basics with a smart security setup - outdoor lighting at night, motion-activated cameras, and the ability to monitor your home through your smartphone, you’ll be well prepared for a hassle-free holiday.
Be safe, and enjoy the sunshine.
(1) 2019 travel trends report, ABTA
(2) Increase in theft rates from 2017-2018, Money Super Market
(3) How safe is your home? Money Super Market