RESIDENTS heading out on day trips and holidays have been urged to ensure their homes and belongings are protected against thieves whilst they’re away.

The money team from have researched and revealed six clever tips to prevent home burglaries this spring and summer.

A spokesman said: “UK households might be surprised to learn that between 2019 and 2020 there were over 402,000 burglaries in England and Wales alone.

“Whilst this figure marks a decline of almost 40,000 when compared with the previous reporting year, it’s still very alarming.

“Fortunately there are measures we can each take to prevent becoming targets ourselves.

“As well as investing in proper home security like locks, bolts, and security cameras, you could buy tactical signs and go incognito on social media when you’re away.”

Buy a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign, even if you don’t have a dog

For obvious reasons, burglars don’t tend to be too fond of dogs, so putting up warning signs in your windows or around your house could make them think twice before breaking in. ‘Guard dog on duty’ would likely do an even better job!

Move keys away from the doors and windows

If you keep your keys next to your doors and windows, you’re providing thieves with easy access to valuables like cars. Instead, keep them in well-hidden safe places that are out of plain sight and a little more inconspicuous.

Trick the thieves

If you have to hide a spare key for a pet sitter or for any other reason while you’re away, at least try to make it difficult for a burglar to find by adding a decoy key. Most people hide a spare key underneath the doormat at the front door - so avoid doing this if you can. Instead, glue a decoy key down under the mat and hide the real one in a better location. Doing so will trip burglars up, and they’ll likely think twice before pursuing their illegal activities.

Check windows

Before leaving your home for an extended period of time, you’ll likely double and even triple check that your doors are locked - but do you put the same effort into ensuring all of your home’s windows are locked too? So many people fail to lock their windows, as day-to-day it’s easier to leave them unlocked for various reasons. But burglars will check to see if they can gain easy entry via an unlocked window.

Hide packaging and boxes

If you’ve recently taken delivery of a snazzy new TV or some other costly item, don’t leave the packaging at the side of your outdoor bins or in plain sight. Doing so is basically an advertisement to potential thieves - “look what we have for you to steal!”

Go incognito on social media

If you’re going away on holiday, refrain from posting any pictures or information about it online until you get back home. By flaunting your trip on social media whilst you’re away, you’re basically letting everyone know that you’re not at home - a perfect opportunity for thieves.