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How to avoid a break-in when you’re away

Having a morning coffee and a croissant in France? Sightseeing in Italy? Sunbathing on the Canary Islands? Skiing in Switzerland?

Sounds nice. Sadly, you absolutely shouldn't be bragging about it on social media. Your holiday trips are exactly what burglars are waiting for.

Fate must not be tempted

The fact that sharing privacy in the virtual world has its negative consequences has been painfully realised, among others, by the famous English footballer John Terry* who went on a short ski trip.

When he was away, thieves ransacked his mansion, stealing designer handbags, jewellery and… signed first edition of Harry Potter books worth £18,000!

It took them 45 minutes. According to the media, the footballer provoked the break-in himself, because he covered his trip extensively on social media.

Sadly, sharing your holiday photos, or a photo of yourself in the doorway with suitcases ready to set off, is growingly popular nowadays. Remember that if you share a photo of your holiday preparations at home, you not only notify the burglars that you’re going to be away, but also show the contents of your property (and, often, suggest its location). This is not how you can avoid a break-in, it is an invitation to get burgled.

What’s more, when you’re away, sometimes it’s more than enough to post a picture at a given restaurant – even if you do not give the exact location, it can be easily tracked, confirming that you won’t be coming back soon.

How to avoid a break-in

57 per cent of people in UK say they worry about burglary while traveling. Encouragingly, 72 per cent take proactive measures to protect their home, such as asking family or friends to keep an eye while they’re away.

Unfortunately it is not always possible to have someone at your property, but there are few things your friends, family or a neighbour can do to make your house less attractive to a prospective burglar:

• Keeping post clear from the letter box and front door
• Watering plants at the front and back
• Parking a car in the driveway for a few hours
• Putting out the bins and taking them in on the same day
• Acting as nominated key holder to your monitored alarm provider

Not just social media

Even if you are not a fan of social media, you may make some common mistakes that seriously affect your security.

Hanging a note for your postman to leave the letters at the neighbors' is pretty much an invitation for the burglar to pop in, similarly to piles of leaflets and letters lying on the doormat and waiting for you to come back from your trip.

how to avoid a break-in. full letterbox
Keeping post clear from the letter box and front door

For a thief, this is a sign that the owner has left the apartment and will not appear soon.

Source: * https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/28/gang-stole-400k-from-john-terry-mansion-jailed

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