With the summer now upon us, at some point it’s likely we’ll be leaving our homes unattended whilst we go away on holiday. Getting away should be an enjoyable and relaxing experience, not spoilt by worrying about the risk of burglary.

We've probably all asked ourselves “Did I shut that window” or “Did I switch the alarm on” at some point, so with the help of The Crime Prevention Website, here's a checklist of things to do before you head off on holiday.

With around 60% of all burglaries taking place when no-one’s at home, these tips may help to prevent a break in whilst you’re away.

  • Let a trusted neighbour or friends know that you’ll be away. Leave your contact details, a spare set of keys and the PIN for your alarm.
  • Cancel the papers and any other regular deliveries.
  • If you have an alarm, let them know you’ll be away and who to contact in case of emergency.
  • If you’re going away for an extended period, use the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe They’ll hold your mail for up to 2 months.

Ask a friend or neighbour to do some of these:

  • Draw the curtains daily
  • Switch lights on and off, or use a timer switch
  • Water plants
  • Take in the mail
  • Leave one of their cars on your driveway

Secure and lock away the following:

  • Garden and DIY tools – especially ladders which could be used to aid access.
  • Sheds, outbuildings and garage
  • Garden furniture and barbeques
  • All doors, windows and gates
  • Remove items of value in view from your car if you’re leaving it at home, and put car keys in a safe place away from the front door
  • Remove all keys from all locks and put them in a safe place. Tell your key holders where you’ve put them
  • If you have a safe, use it to store valuable jewellery, documents and other valuables including wills, house deeds, and credit cards you’re not taking with you
  • Large items of value like computers or paintings should be hidden from view.

Additional things to consider:

  • Turn off the gas and water supply if you’re going to be away from a long time
  • Check the expiry dates for car, home and holiday insurance, road tax and MOT. You don’t want it to expire whilst you’re away
  • Don’t leave an answer machine message which indicates that you’re away on holiday
  • Unplug all electrical items which don’t need to be on
  • Check that outdoor security lights are working
  • Mark valuable property so that it can be identified if stolen
  • Carry out a Home Security Assessment to identify areas of your home where you may need to improve security

Having ticked off all the items on this checklist all that’s left to do is hitch up the caravan and head out onto the open road.

If you’re having a break from touring and leaving your caravan behind, check our guide to Caravan Security.

Happy Holidays!