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15 top tips to keep your home secure this summer

Hitches & Glitches offers its top 15 tips for GCC property owners looking to keep their homes secure during the summer months

Lukas Eigenmann (above), chief operating officer of Hitches & Glitches, offers 15 top tips on keeping your property safe and secure this summer.
Lukas Eigenmann (above), chief operating officer of Hitches & Glitches, offers 15 top tips on keeping your property safe and secure this summer.

Whether you’re jetting off for the summer or staying put, here are some simple steps that you can take to ensure your home stays safe and secure during the coming months.

1. Check your locks
Ensure that all door and window locks are well maintained and secure. Also, never leave the key inside the lock, as burglars could break a window and access the handle from the inside.

2. Don’t leave tools lying around for thieves
Secure all car, home, and garden tools that could potentially be used by a thief to break into your home.

3. Use your initiative
Sliding glass doors that are secured by latches are vulnerable to being forced open from the outside. This can be easily prevented by inserting a wooden stick into the track to stop it from moving.

4. Hide your valuables
Keep cash, phones, jewellery, and other high-value items out of plain sight to discourage opportunistic thieves.

5. Challenge visitors
If you have a helper around the house, ensure that he or she asks any visitors for official identification, especially random tradespeople. Nobody should enter your residence without your prior approval.

6. Groom your garden
Prune any bushes and trees near to your home to make it difficult for burglars to conceal themselves.

7. Make sure you’re covered
If you don’t already have one, shop around for a comprehensive home contents insurance policy. Ensure that any high-value items are fully covered, and lock important documents in your safe.

8. Confuse would-be criminals
Almost half of burglaries happen when homes are empty, so if you’re going away and don’t have a helper in your house, consider fitting an automatic timer that activates the lights when dusk falls and switches them off again at dawn.

9. Don’t leave clues
Before going away on holiday, cancel newspapers and any other regular deliveries so that they don’t mount up on your doorstep.

10. Everybody needs good neighbours
Ask a friend or neighbour to keep an eye on your home if possible, and to keep on top of everyday tasks like tidying the front garden so that your property appears well maintained.

11. Mum’s the word
Avoid telling strangers that you are going away on holiday, even if it’s your hairdresser. You never know who is eavesdropping.

12. Stay connected
Ensure that you leave details of how you can be contacted while you are abroad with a helper or trusted friend. This will enable them to verify the identity of a visitor, or reach you in the event of an emergency.

13. Keep a low social profile
Don’t post photographs or messages on your social media channels while you’re on holiday. The same goes for your voicemail and out-of-office notifications at work. Doing so could make you an open target for burglars, and oversharing on social media could even invalidate your home insurance policy.

14. Enlist some extra eyes
Have an alarm system fitted and consider installing CCTV surveillance cameras as a deterrent.

15. Connect with the cops
Register your home with Dubai Police. This free service is open to all those who own or rent a villa in the emirate, and boosts security by sending a preventative police patrol to your home.

Lukas Eigenmann is chief operating officer at Hitches & Glitches.

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