It the time of year that we jet off on holiday, frantically packing our suitcases and ensuring we have the adequate insurances to protect ourselves whilst we are away. Of course for most of us our properties stand empty and consequently it’s during this period when your home is most at risk from burglary. Security must be at its peak, so here are five tips to help safeguard your home.

1. If you have a reliable neighbour, ask them to check on your property daily. Get them to move your mail if it’s visible through the door (a few days’ post piling up is a good indicator that no one’s home) and, if possible, ask them to park their car on your drive a few nights a week.

2. Keep all valuables out of sight. Many thieves are opportunistic and will make the snap decision to break in if they can spot high-value items on display.

3. Install extra locking devices to entrance points, such as chain locks on doors and devices that restrict how far windows can be opened. Most forced entry burglaries are committed at the rear of the property, with patio doors being notoriously penetrable, so you may want to consider investing in further protective measures here to help shield against intruders.

4. Install lights which turn on automatically according to a timer. These – or apps which allow you to control lighting remotely – provide a solution to the ongoing debate as to whether you should leave a light on while away.

5. Before you leave for the airport, check that your burglar alarm works. It sounds obvious, but very few people actually complete this vital precaution.