Bolsover group’s holiday safety appeal

With the school summer holiday here Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Community Safety Partnerships appreciate that hundreds of their residents will be looking forward to getting away – and they want to make sure everyone has home security on their holiday checklist.

Sgt Paul Smith, with the two partnerships, says: “Everyone realises the importance of things like checking their passport and buying sun cream, but we want to make people include home security as an important part of their holiday planning.”

To help with this, the Partnerships have created a simple check list, which suggests how residents can help keep their home safe while they are away.

They suggest that at least a week before you go that you:

Cancel milk or newspaper deliveries for the duration of your holiday;

Consider leaving valuables with other family members or locking them up in a safe;

Use the Royal Mail’s ‘Keep safeTM’ service which will keep mail for you for up to two months or ask a neighbour to pick up your post so that a pile of post does not develop at your home;

Put all your tools away so they cannot be used to break into your house;

Make sure you have up-to-date contents and buildings insurance.

On the day you leave:

Try to leave your home looking like someone is living in it. Don’t close your curtains as in the daytime this shows the house is empty. Use automatic timer-switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark and a radio at various times to make it look and sound like someone is there. Alternatively, ask a neighbour to pop in and open and close curtains each evening;

Try not to leave valuable items, like games consoles, laptops and expensive china, where burglars can see them through windows;

Don’t write your home address on your luggage labels until you are on you return journey as this provides people in airports with information that the address is empty;

Just before you set off, make sure all your doors and windows and shut and locked and that sheds, outbuildings and your garage are secure;

If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.

Coun Brian Murray Carr, chairman of Bolsover Community Safety Partnership, said: “In all the excitement of planning your trip, it’s easy to forget that opportunistic burglars might take advantage while you’re away. Nearly half of all burglaries take place when houses are empty for a while, underlining the importance of making your home appear to be occupied.

“By following the simple steps that we have suggested you can help to significantly reduce the chances of being targeted by a burglar while you are away.”