DON’T make it look as though you’re away on holiday when you’re away on holiday.
A simple message, but it’s amazing how many people leave their homes for a couple of weeks and make no effort at all to make it seem like someone is still living there.
It makes the houses easy targets for opportunist burglars.
Don’t leave important documents lying about where intruders can easily grab them.
The number of incidents involving identity fraud is on the increase, with more than 75,000 cases reported in England and Wales in 2007, a 56% increase since 2002.
Thieves are now targeting identity documents in the home, as well as jewellery and electronic equipment.
Some very simple steps can make all the difference whether your house is burgled or not.
If you have an alarm switch it on.
Ask neighbours to open and close curtains at night, the simplest of precautions yet probably the most effective.
Try to stop your post being delivered or ask a neighbour to pop in and pick it up. A mountain of post left behind the door – especially glass doors – is a telltale sign you’ve not been home for a while.
Turn the water off at the mains to reduce the risk of a broken pipe causing massive damage or if any intruders turn the water on.
Use timer switches for lights around the house. Even better, use timer switches on your TV or radio. This way it sounds as though someone’s in the house.
Make sure all windows have key-operated window locks, especially those facing the back of your house.
Avoid advertising your holiday on Facebook. Your profile – including your home address – can be viewed by anyone in your network unless you change your security settings.
Make life uncomfortable for would-be thieves.
Even prickly shrubs can be a pain for intruders; quite literally.
They are a good – and more attractive – alternative to barbed wire on fences and walls.
Defensive shrubbery, such as climbing roses, are some of the more inhospitable shrubs that can put thieves off.
For more information on crime prevention go to http://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/