As the eagerly awaited Christmas holidays approach and Portswood simultaneously turns into a ghost town, here are a few tips on how to protect your beloved home from burglars whilst empty.
Burglaries are one of the most common crimes, with around half a million recorded in England every year. Student houses are prime targets over the Christmas period as burglars know they are likely to be empty.
Most burglars are opportunists simply taking what they can see, so all it takes is a few simple steps to keep them at bay:
1. Lock all windows and doors.
Errr duh?! Whilst this is obvious you would be surprised how easy it is for a burglar to enter a house. If you were locked out how would you get in? Make sure all entry routes are securely locked, once a burglar gets in they can access almost any room in the house, ransacking as they go.
2. Avoid keeping belongings in window view
If you have a TV in an easily visible lounge consider locking it in a inaccessible bedroom during the holidays. Returning home to a brick through your front window will not help your money situation, landlord relations or the sub zero temperatures of your student house.
3. Don’t brag about your skiing holiday on social media
Although everyone enjoys an Instagram of a snowy mountain scene be tactful of publicising your absence from home. Tweeting about how you cannot wait to leave Southampton for the world of warm fireplaces, roast dinners and cuddling with your pets is basically inviting someone into your student digs.
4. Leave a light on…
An unforgivable housemate crime during term time but a saving grace during the holidays. Leaving a hallway light on or a lamp with a timer for the evenings will make your house look lived in. Cop out a few extra pennies of electricity bills than risk having to buy a new television!
5. Make friends with your neighbours
If you didn’t take the opportunity to get friendly at the beginning of term here is your chance! Ask neighbours if they will be popping back to Southampton at all during the holidays and if so could they just check everything looks safe with your house. A favour for a neighbour may result in a beer later!
For more information on house safety and understanding the mind of the burglar click here.
The Soton Tab wishes you a happy holiday!