Security when you're travelling

Lizzie Adamson-Brown on 12 May 2015
At this time of year many of us are dreaming of winter sun, booking festival tickets or making plans for an eagerly awaited summer holiday. This can all be very exciting, and the preparation is often a big part of the fun, but it’s important that measures are also taken to keep yourself and your home safe while you’re away.

* * * * AT HOME * * * *

When you leave for your trip, do a final check to make sure that all doors and windows are locked (including those of sheds and outbuildings), and that your burglar alarm system is set. This may sound obvious, but it can be easy to forget to do this in the midst all of your final travel preparations.

Turn off any utilities that you won’t need while you’re gone. Cutting out your gas, electricity, water etc will not only save you money on utility bills, but will also limit the possibility of electrical fires, explosions and burst pipes inflicting your home while you’re away.

Check with your insurer that you’re covered for events that occur when you’re away from the home. In most policies this will be the case, but there are sometimes limitations on the length of time that you’re covered for, so it’s always worth double checking.

Don’t post your plans on social media sites like Facebook or twitter! As tempting as it might be, social media can be used by burglars to pick out the easiest and most fruitful homes to target.

If your alarm system is monitored, make sure you contact your security company and inform them of any changes that need to be made to your key-holder contact list while you’re away. It’s not the best receiving a phone call to say that you’ve been burgled, but it’s even worse when you’re on the other side of the world and can’t make it back quickly!

Ask a neighbour to park on your drive occasionally while you’re gone to help create the illusion that the home is occupied. This is enough to make a burglar think twice before targeting your home.

Make sure that any valuables are out of view from passers by, and consider registering them on Immobilise, the UK National Property Register. Remember; if you’ve logged it you’e got a better chance of getting it back.

* * * * WHILE YOU'RE AWAY * * * *

On holiday, all you want to do is relax, unwind and forget about your usual worries. It’s especially easy to do this when you’ve taken a few precautions to protect yourself and your belongings!

Before you go, make a note of serial numbers on any insurance policies, travellers’ cheques and even your unique passport number. Keep this information separate from the corresponding items in case they are lost or stolen.

Try not to flaunt any expensive possessions, and keep them in your hotel safe - along with your passport and travel documents- when they aren't on your person.

Never hang bags or jackets on the back of your chair where they are out of view. Doing this creates easy targets for pick-pockets and petty thieves.

Don’t store all of your money in one pocket/bag. Spread your money between different sections of your bag and pockets to minimise the potential impact of being robbed.

A massive thanks to Bethany Jackson of Tyneside Security for this invaluable information.

If you’d like help with making your home more secure please contact Chris Pattinson on 0191 270 0808.