Don’t make it easy for them
When you go out, or to bed, check you have shut and locked all windows and doors. Don’t leave your keys in locks when you are in, as a burglar may be able to reach them through the letterbox.
Think about your family calendar, says Diane Ivory, a former Scotland Yard crime scene examiner who runs an education and entertainment company called Forensic Minds. “Be careful if the dates you’re away are on display and can be seen through the window,” she says.
Burglars can hide behind big pots and hedges, allowing them to reach your home unseen by others, so keep them low if you can.
Pretend someone’s in
Put lights on timers and leave the radio on to make it look and sound as if someone is at home.
Leave an ironing board up with a pile of clothes. “It will look like you’ve just popped out (but don’t leave the iron turned on),” says Ivory.
Naomi Willis, from the SkintDad blog, suggests enabling a free “guard dog skill” on Alexa. “It allows you to set off a barking and growling dog noise by remotely activating it,” she says.
Get neighbours to help
When all the bins are out on a street except yours, or yours are the only ones out, that can give away the fact that no one is at home, so ask a friend or neighbour to put yours out and back, too.
If you have a drive and your car is usually on it, ask them to park there so it looks like someone is home.
Using her 22 years’ experience in the police, Toni Frost says to check the weather forecast while you are away. If leaves or snow fall at your doorstep and aren’t cleared, this can be a sign that no one has been going in and out of the door.
The free Alexa ‘guard dog skill’ will set off a barking and growling dog noise by remotely activating it
Naomi Willis, SkintDad
Post piling up can be another give away. If you have a long trip planned, the Royal Mail’s Keepsafe service holds your mail while you are away, says Frost.
It costs from £16, which covers a 10…….