1. Avoid leaving downstairs windows open after you go to bed, as according to The Home Office, 56 per cent of burglaries take place during the evening.
2. These days, it’s easy for social media-savvy thieves to do their research online. It doesn’t take long to work out if a homeowner is away by checking up on social media sites - often rife with envy-inducing holiday snaps and updates. Make sure your social media settings are listed as private and can only be viewed by friends or people you trust, as ‘checking in’ or broadcasting your holiday photos and updates on public sites can be risky.
3. Never leave valuables like laptops, iPads, handbags or wallets within reach of open windows, cat flaps or letterboxes, as it only takes seconds for a burglar to reach in and grab something.
4. If you’re off on holiday, leave a set of keys with someone you trust so they can keep an eye on your home while you're away. Always avoid leaving any spares in clichéd hiding places around your house and garden; thieves know where to look.
5. Ask a friend or neighbour to remove post from your letterbox or front porch regularly, as a growing pile of letters and packages is a clear indicator that a house is absent. Alternatively, you can use the Royal Mail's keepsafe service, which holds on to your letters for up to 66 days.
6. It may sound obvious, but if you’re out enjoying the garden, make sure your front door is locked and any accessible windows are secure. Opportunists only need a minute to do their dirty work.
7. Always pack away tools after a day tending to your garden or doing some DIY and make sure they’re locked away and out of reach. Easy-to-grab tools are exactly the sort of things burglars look for to gain entry to a property.
8. Keep a few lights on in the evenings using timer switches, but avoid pulling all your curtains or blinds before you’re heading off for a weekend or on holiday, as this can indicate no-one is home – especially in summer when the days are longer.
9. Install a home alarm, so that if the worst happens and there is a break in, you can be alerted quickly and you or your neighbours can contact the police.
10. Lastly make sure you have contents insurance in place, so that you’re protected should you find yourself a victim of summer burglary.