Guide Keeping safe

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1. When you're away from home

Tips to give you peace of mind while you are away from home.

  • Make sure your home looks occupied. Ask a trusted friend or neighbour to keep an eye on it (picking up mail, watering plants, feeding pets). Let them have the spare keys but don’t put your name or address on the keys.
  • Don’t leave your curtains closed in the daytime as this shows outsiders that the house is empty.
  • Use automatic timer-switches to turn on your lights when it gets dark.
  • Cancel regular deliveries of milk or newspapers. The Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service will look after your mail back for up to two months while you are away.
  • Avoid discussing your holiday plans where strangers might overhear details of your absence from home.
  • Do not put your home address on the outside of your luggage.
  • Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or in a bank, or lock them in a safe.
  • If you normally keep pedal cycles or similar items in your shed, consider bringing them into the house while you are away.
  • Finally, don’t forget to lock all external doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.

Just before you set off, spend a couple of minutes checking that you’ve done all you had to do and have everything you need with you. Don’t forget your passport and tickets.

You can find more about reducing and preventing crime home security and preventing burglaries and other crimes on the police website Secured by Design.