Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Deterrence Is the Best Policy for Peace of Mind

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Deterrence Is the Best Policy for Peace of Mind

Article excerpt

In the second of his features on home security, Peter Harrison gives more tips for homeowners.

SCHOOL'S out for summer and many people are heading off on holiday. Buying suncream and sandals may be top of your list of things to do but too many people forget to check their security.

A good starting point is to check your insurance policy. Retired people are increasingly taking long breaks in the sun - make sure that your household insurance covers an extended stay away from home.

And check the small print about conditions of leaving the house, even for a couple of hours.

Many policies simply won't pay up unless it can be proved that a burglar forced entry - an open window is seen as an invitation to the criminal.

There may be conditions on leaving a property. If you're going away, there are other things you can do to keep the criminal out.

Make the house look lived in. Leave a car in the drive - if you're going away in the only car, get a neighbour to park in your drive. Fit good locks on garages and garden sheds.

Smart technology in homes promises that in the future all homes will be wired so that lights, ovens, TVs and everything imaginable will be able to be switched on from a computer anywhere. And it will be easy to make a house or apartment look occupied with lights and music coming on at all times of the day or night. A few simple - and inexpensive - time switches will let you have lights and perhaps the radio or TV come on in the evenings so your home doesn't look dark and abandoned.

Don't be tempted to draw curtains. And don't put your home address on luggage labels - you're inviting someone to visit what they can be fairly certain will be an empty house.

Make sure you cancel newspapers and milk and ask a neighbour - perhaps pay their teenager - to take in your post and water the plants. …

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