House broken into - put bolts on the door. This is an old proverb that is still applicable today. We often go away on holiday and think that it will be enough to just lock the door and everything will be alright.
Today, however, that´s not the case. These are a few tips for you to follow when you go away on holiday so you won´t be the next victim. If you´ve already been away on holiday but you weren´t completely at ease, save this article because it could be useful to you the next time.
These are the 7 tips for your benefit before you go away:
1. Lock the house up carefully
That´s right – this is easy but make absolutely certain that all doors and windows are properly closed and go back and make certain if need be.
2. Ask your neighbours to keep an eye on things for you
If you get along well with any of your neighbours, leave them a copy of the keys and ask them to collect any post so that it doesn´t build up as this could let people know that you are away for a while. You could also ask them to keep opening and closing blinds and doors so that there is an appearance of activity in the house giving the impression that the house is still occupied in your absence.
3. Don´t tell everyone that you are going away on holiday
We´re not saying that you should keep this information from family and close friends but make sure that you don´t say anything about it in public or to strangers whether you´re going away for 2 days or for 10.
4. Let the authorities know
This tip might seem odd but, in Portugal, between the 15th of June and the 15th of September the PSP and the GNR will check your property more often if you let them know that you will be away on holiday. It´s also free of charge to join the programmes ´Operação Férias` (Operation Holiday Time) and ´Chave Direta` (Key Direct) up to 48 hours before you go away. You can sign up in person at a PSP or a GNR post or by internet using the Ministério da Administração Interna (Home Office) website ´Verão Seguro` (Secure Summer).
5. Avoid publishing everything on social networks
When we go away on holiday we tend to want to share everything on social networks. However, not all of our ´friends` on Facebook for example are really our friends. If everything that you publish is visible to all then it can become hazardous.
Before breaking into a house, the burglar usually makes a study of the property so that he knows who lives there, what their habits are and when the house is usually unoccupied. It´s also possible that he may know the owners of the house well enough to be aware of their profiles on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media.
If your social network profiles are public and you start to publish photographs at the beach or the pool or of visits to somewhere far away for several days then the burglar clearly will make use of this information to carry out the break-in.
6. Buy a good quality lock for the outside door
Does the lock on your front door look fragile? Did you know that to buy a strong and effective one could cost you less than 80€? A lot of people opt for security locks that go over the original that allows both the door and its lock to be retained. This could be a good investment for you because, in case of a burglary, the damage will be much greater!
7. Buy and fit an alarm
If you have followed all of these tips and you still don´t feel completely confident about going away on holiday then you could opt to buy an alarm. There is a wide range of options available so just compare prices and models and choose the one that is best for you.
Have a great holiday!