With a third of all burglaries due to people leaving doors and windows open or unlocked, a few simple steps can reduce the likelihood of your home being targeted.    

Here are some key tips for keeping your home safe if you are away:  

  • Make sure your home looks occupied. Ideally, ask a trusted neighbour or a friend to look after it (collecting mail, watering plants, feeding your pets etc). Let them have the spare keys (but don’t put your name or address on the keys).
  • Don’t leave your curtains closed in the daytime as this shows the house is empty.
  • Use automatic timer switches to turn your lights on when it goes dark.
  • Cancel any regular deliveries such as newspapers or milk.
  • Uncollected mail is a sign that you are away. The Royal Mail's ‘Keepsafe’ service will keep your mail for up to two months while you are away.
  • Cut the lawn before you go and trim back any plants that burglars could hide behind.
  • Avoid discussing holiday plans where strangers may hear details of your absence from home.
  • Consider leaving important documents and valuable items with other family members or a bank or lock them in a safe.
  • Do not put your home address on your luggage when you are travelling to your holiday destination.
  • If you normally leave valuable pedal cycles or similar items in your shed, consider putting them in the house.
  • Don’t forget to lock all external doors and windows. If you have a burglar alarm, make sure it is set.

Register your property free of charge at immobilise.com (link on the right of this page). This is a national database that police can access and compare recovered goods against items that have been found or seized from suspected criminals. It helps identify the owner of lost & stolen goods, and combat the sale of stolen property.


It is ever more important to remain vigilant to burglary now the darker nights are drawing in. If you see anything suspicious or suspect a criminal activity is taking place, call police on 0161 872 5050 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Over 60 and live in the private sector?

Bolton Care and Repair provides a handyperson service to help with those odd jobs around your home. As part of this offer, the handyperson service offers free of charge home security improvements to the over 60s.  

To book your free of charge home security survey or for further information about the other services Bolton Care and Repair offer phone 01204 335679 or email boltoncareandrepair@boltonathome.org.uk

Home security contacts

Telephone 0161 872 5050 Police
Telephone 0800 555 111 Crimestoppers
Telephone 01204 335679 Care and repair
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