How to Keep Your Property Secure When Unoccupied

The winter season, with its short days and long nights is an ideal season for burglaries. 
True, we might not be leaving on a holiday this winter, but lockdown has also meant many second-home properties have had to go longer without supervision. If you have an unoccupied rental or holiday home property you’ve not had the chance to visit in months you might be wondering how to keep your property secure when unoccupied for long periods of time.

1. Hide Valuable Possessions

We can’t rule out burglaries, especially if the property is showing signs of being unoccupied like an overgrown front garden or collection of post. Don’t make your home extra tempting for criminals by advertising valuable possessions in plain sight. 
Invest in blinds and heavy, full-coverage curtains to help keep your property more secure. Remove any TVs, games consoles and visible technology and store at your main property, or at the very least not in a front-facing room. 

2. Install Automatic Lights

Naturally, burglars prefer to work in the dark, so installing automatic lights, especially if your unoccupied property is surrounded by neighbouring houses can help keep your house more secure. Having the lights turn on at unusual times can alert neighbours that there might be unwelcome presence on the grounds. 

3. Invest In Window Locks

Sure you know better than leaving your back door unlocked but have you thought about the risk from the windows. In fact, most burglaries happen through a forced back window, rather than the door. Installing window locks and lockable window latches can prevent thieves from using that method to access your property.

4. Consider Security Cameras

Of course, security cameras and especially infrared CCTV might not be your first choice, whether is due to budget or because you’re unsure how to set them up. But to make your property more secure, paying that little extra for upgraded security might be worth it. Even the fake ones, which do not actually record movement are still a good deterrent for burglars.

5. Choose a High-Quality Door Locki

The locksmith’s favourite (and recommended) is the five lever mortice deadlock and you can also install hinge bolts for added peace-of-mind. Don’t forget that your home

insurance might also have minimal door lock requirements so even if you’re not going for the highest end doors, it’s worth checking before considering our options. 

6. Make Friends With Your Neighbours

If your rental property or holiday home is close to other properties it’s always worth saving the numbers of your closest neighbours so you can give them a call if you expect the property to be unoccupied for a longer period. This way, they’ll know that if they see any strange presence around your house, it’s not your friends dropping off for a weekend break. 

7. Make the Most Effort to Make it Look Liveable

If your rental property is unoccupied but you still have the chance to visit it and it’s near your home, a good rule of thumb is to make sure to collect any unwanted post and flyers and light a lightbulb in one of the rooms. Next time you revisit just change the light in another room. Keep in mind that this method only works if you can visit often. 

If the lamps at a house are always on, and have been so for weeks on end, this could actually be a positive signal for potential burglers. 

For anti-snap locks, lock repairs and advice on the best security systems for your home, Rightio’s top locksmiths can help 7 days a week.

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