Are you lucky enough to be going away for the Easter holidays? We’re very jealous. But before you set off into the sunset, it’s important to take a few precautions to safeguard your home against robbery in your absence. There’s nothing worse than coming home from a relaxing week away to discover your house has been ransacked by some unscrupulous criminal.

While there’s no sure-fire way to prevent crime from occurring while you’re away, this handy checklist will minimise the chances of a break-in from taking place. Follow these steps and you’ll most likely put any opportunistic thieves off – or have some valuable evidence to put them behind bars if they do decide to try their luck.

Lock all doors and windows

It might sound too obvious to mention, but as many as one in five burglaries happen because the homeowner forgot to lock an entryway. As well as securing your property properly before leaving, you should also check the framework of doors and windows, since a damaged door jamb or window sill can compromise the integrity of the fitting.

Keep valuables out of sight

If you leave expensive items such as electricals, jewellery and designer clothes in full view of anyone passing by your window, you’re basically advertising the goods on offer to anyone with a mind to steal. Keep all valuables far enough away from doors and windows so as to not be visible to passers-by – preferably under lock and key if possible.

TheTurn the spotlight on the exterior

A well-lit driveway, garden or garage is a far bigger deterrent to robbers than one shrouded in darkness, since an invisible thief is a successful one. Invest in some robust outdoor lighting to keep the external areas of your property well-lit at all times, making it easier for neighbours, pedestrians and motorists to spot anything out of the ordinary and come to your aid.

Install a home security system

The absolute best way to prevent crime from occurring, and to pinpoint the identity of those responsible if it does occur, is to install a state-of-the-art CCTV system. If a burglar believes they’re being monitored, they’re far less likely to ransack your home; on the other hand, if they do break in, you’ll have some solid evidence to bring them to justice.

Give the illusion of habitation

An empty home is far easier to burgle than an inhabited one, so do your best to create the impression that you haven’t gone on holiday at all. The best way to achieve this is to ask a friend, neighbour or family member to pop by intermittently and open/close the curtains, turn off and on lights and feed any pets or houseplants which require it. Failing that, a light switch timer will make it look like someone’s home, even when they’re not.

advertise you holidayDon’t advertise your absence

Finally, don’t make it easy for the criminals. Far too many people are so excited about their holidays and keen to share their exploits with their friends that they don’t give a thought to how their actions might draw unwanted attention. Specifically, posting holiday pictures on social media while you’re still away is a big no-no, especially if you have your privacy filters set to minimum. Essentially, all you’re doing is advertising your absence to anyone with more greed than conscience and the wherewithal to navigate Facebook.