Going away on holiday? 1 in 12 people who get burgled make this mistake

Nothing is worse than coming back from a hard-earned holiday to find your home has been burgled while you’ve been away. But many of us are unwittingly making it easier for criminals by advertising that our homes are unoccupied.

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According to new research, 1 in 12 of us have been burgled after updating our social media accounts. With 79% of us tagging our location when we’re on holiday – and 78% of burglars using social media to identify targets – it’s a recipe for disaster, particularly if any of your accounts aren’t private. 

Official police advice is to avoid discussing holiday plans on public social networking sites. Of course, it’s tempting to post a smug beach selfie – but if you want to be on the safe side wait until you are back from your holiday, or make sure your security settings are as tight as possible, and that you are only sharing with followers/friends who you know and trust.

In addition to thinking about your digital activity, physically securing your home is important too. You want to make your home look like someone is living in it and make it less appealing to opportunistic burglars:

  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights and radios on when it goes dark
  • Cancel any newspaper or milk deliveries
  • Use the Royal Mail’s ‘Keepsafe’ service – they keep your post for up to two months while you’re away. A pile of post on your doorstep is an easy giveaway
  • Lock away tools and ladders so they cannot be used to break into the house, and use security locks on garages and sheds
  • Cover bikes with tarpaulin
  • Don’t leave car keys lying around – they can help a burglar make an easy exit
  • Hide wheelie bins that can be used to climb over gates and fences

For more advice on burglar-proofing your home visit police.uk/crime-prevention-advice/burglary/