How to keep your home secure this summer

Unforced break-ins were up by 31 per cent last summer

Unforced break-ins were up by 31 per cent last summer - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Summer holiday season is here, and with it comes an increase in burglaries.

According to Lloyds Bank data, there was a 31 per cent rise in unforced break-ins last summer, with open doors and windows allowing burglars easy access.

Following the news that St Albans has come second in a list of burglary hotspots based on the average value of possessions stolen, home security is more important than ever.

St Albans-based security firm, Amthal, has put together a list of top tips to ensure you don’t return home to any nasty surprises:

Lock all the doors and windows

Even the smallest of window openings can be enough for a determined burglar to enter your home, so it’s worth spending a few extra minutes making sure all access points, front and back, are locked and secure before you go away

Share spare keys wisely

Leaving a key under the flower pots or below the bins may be easy for a neighbour to find, but the same is true for a burglar.

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Make sure any spare keys are physically handed to your person of trust, in case of emergency whilst you’re away. If they’re a neighbour or close by, it’s worth asking them to remove any post from your letterbox if it begins to build up. And don’t forget to cancel the newspaper delivery whilst you’re away.

Appear at home

Burglars prefer to strike an empty home as they’re less likely to be caught, so it’s worth investing in motion detection lights to protect your home. Keeping the curtains open (and closed at night, which you can do from your own phone with latest smart home technology), and keeping the house front tidy are little things that can make a difference

Get an alarm

It’s been proven that a home with a security system is more likely to deter burglars and with so many options available in today’s market it really is a no-brainer. There are DIY options, those that are professionally installed with police monitoring and even smart options that you can set (and unset) from your phone.

Consider outdoor security

Remember, it’s not just your home that’s a target to the opportunist or professional burglar. Tools and expensive equipment kept in sheds and garages will also be on the hit list, and if nothing else, a ladder found can help a burglar to enter your home. So make sure they are as secured as your home before you go away.

Keep away from social media

We all love to tag the excitement of going on holiday to make family and friends stuck at home jealous of our beach experience (and tans!) But just make sure privacy settings are high as more and more thieves are using social media to check if a home is empty.

Don’t over tag your luggage

We’re all used to putting our name and address on our suitcases in case the worst happens and they get lost in transit. But just imagine if your suitcase fell into the wrong hands. Keep the information as basic as possible.