If youâ??re going on holiday this Easter, hereâ??s how to secure your home so you can relax and enjoy your time away…

If you donâ??t have house sitters looking after your property, make sure that you have other security measures in place to protect your home from burglars. Here are a few simple, but effective security tips:

1. Hang a â??Beware of the Dogâ?? sign on the gate
Even if your dogs are in the kennels, you only have a Sausage dog, or you donâ??t even own a dog, this is a cheap and effective way to make burglars hesitate before choosing your home over the dog-free houses in your street.

2. If you do own dogs, let them be visible and have access to your entire garden
Thereâ??s no point (not to mention that itâ??s cruel) in keeping your dogs locked in a confined space or courtyard where they canâ??t get to threaten (or bite) intruders. Allow your dogs the run of the garden so that if someone peers over your wall, they can see that your dogs will have access to them.

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3. Arrange for someone to collect your post every couple of days
Overflowing post boxes are an obvious sign that thereâ??s no-one at home. Ask a friend or neighbour to clear your post box regularly to avoid signs that youâ??re away.

4. Lighting is one of the most effective deterrents
Install effective lighting around your property so that there are no dark corners for burglars to hide.

Itâ??s up to you whether you choose sensor lights that are activated by movement or spots that shine all night: well-lit homes are scary for burglars and make it harder for them to lurk in the shadows. You can also have a timer switch fitted so that your lights are activated at a certain time or level of darkness each evening.

5. Secure all opening windows
Thieves can gain access to your home through the smallest bathroom window: make sure that even your fanlights and high, hard-to-reach windows are closed. They can open a window quietly but may think twice about having to smash glass to enter your home.

6. Make sure your burglar guards are well secured
Often people with wood cottage-pane windows fit burglar guards directly into the wooden window frames instead of into the walls. These can be easily removed or just kicked in with the window frames. Drill burglar guards directly into the walls with screws that canâ??t be removed.

7. Fit the best security gates you can afford
If you have good-quality security gates, burglars wonâ??t be able to transport big, bulky goods out of your home if they do manage to get in through a window, as they will be limited to the size of the window they used to enter your house.

8. If you have an alarm system, test that it is in working order
Alarm systems need to be tested periodically, to make sure that theyâ??re not faulty. The onus is on you to service and maintain your security system; insurance companies may refuse to pay out if they can prove that your security system wasnâ??t functioning optimally.

9. Notify your armed response/security company of the dates that you will be away
This is so that they can monitor your property while you are away by checking your perimeters, doors and windows etc and know to respond immediately, without wasting precious time phoning your home, if your alarm goes off while you are away.

10. Notify your neighbours of your holiday dates
Let neighbours know when you are leaving and returning so that they can keep an eye on your property and be alert to strange noises, or any movement on your premises.