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If you’re planning on taking a holiday, you’ll need to make sure that some of your preparations include making sure your home will be safe while you’re away.

Being away from your home for a prolonged period gives burglars the chance to break into your property without fear of being disturbed. It’s therefore vital to make sure the precautions you have taken are sufficient to keep out any would-be thieves.

Here are a few ideas about the measures you can take to secure your home and give you peace of mind.

Alarm systems

Burglars are normally keen to find the opportunities which will be the easiest, avoiding those which look as if they will present a challenge.

For this reason, homes which have an alarm will normally be passed by because the risk of alerting someone to their presence is simply too great.

Therefore installing an alarm in your home is a very effective deterrent, particularly if it’s linked up to a live alert centre. Unfortunately this type of system isn’t cheap.

An alternative to spending out hundreds of pounds investing in an alarm is to purchase a dummy box. This can be picked up very cheaply and give the appearance of an alarm being active on the property, even though it’s little more than a cheap plastic box.

Get high quality locks

When it comes to locking your doors, there is a real difference in quality. Cheaper locks won’t have the resilience to keep out intruders and could be vulnerable to a technique known as lock snapping.

You should look for a look which has been classified as meeting the British Standard. This means that it will have been vigorously tested and passed key criteria such as durability, strength and security.

The standard locks often fitted on uPVC doors are particularly vulnerable to the threat of lock snapping. This has rocketed in popularity amongst burglars throughout the country. uPVC doors typically have a type of mechanism fitted known as a “Euro lock”; these will not be able to resist lock snapping.

To improve your security, if you have a uPVC door, make sure that you upgrade your lock to one which meets the TS007 standard.

Secure your outbuildings

Sheds and outbuildings can be vulnerable to attacks too, and once on your property, it could put the rest of your home at risk from burglars too.

Don’t tempt anyone onto your premises by leaving your shed or outbuildings visibly unlocked. Invest in a high quality lock even if the contents aren’t that valuable. Thieves don’t know what’s held in your shed and if they don’t find anything worthwhile, they could easily move on your house. By locking your shed, you won’t be putting your property in the spotlight.

Extra security for your doors

As well as making sure that your doors have top quality locks, you might want to take some extra security steps too.

Adding a chain to the door and a spy hole won’t help you when you’re away on holiday but if you have anyone looking after your house, it might help them feel more secure. Also make sure that your letterbox has a cage or a guard around it; this prevents burglars from attempting various techniques which involve fishing around, gaining access through the letterbox area.

Don’t forget…

To cancel any milk or other orders which could pile up outside your home, broadcasting the fact that you are away. And either ask a friend or a neighbour to pop in occasionally to open and close curtains, or switch the lights on and off or invest in an automatic timer switch for lamps to give the illusion that someone is home.

What Is Locksnapping?

You may well have heard of “cylinder snapping” or “lock snapping”. It’s a method used by burglars to break into property that is secured using a euro cylinder (e.g. almost all properties that have UPVC doors, although a significant number of composite and aluminium doors use them too, and they’re often used in commercial as well as domestic environments).

The method of lock snapping involves breaking the cylinder to then manipulate the lock to open. Whilst you may think that all the multi locking points on your door make it secure, it’s important to realise they are all operated by the cylinder – this is the weakest point and if compromised all the locking points are rendered useless.