As million of Brits prepare to pack their suitcases and head off on their summer holidays, their homes could be a prime target for criminals.

We all need to be thinking carefully about protecting our homes this summer with burglaries on the rise people are being urged to make sure they leave their empty homes as protected as possible.

The summer holidays are a prime opportunity for break ins and with theives get away with thousands of pounds worth of goods, completely uncontested.

To tips to help holidaymakers protect their homes this summer in Gloucester, Tewkesbury or Cheltenham.

1: Switch off your home devices

Cyber security experts have revealed that hackers can determine your exact location to within a few feet through your Google home speaker or Chromecast device. Switch off your device and your broadband while you're away

2: Be social media savvy

Bragging about the fact you're about to jet off to the Maldives for two weeks could put your home, not just your popularity, at risk. While you may think your group of Facebook friends is small, you never know who might be listening. Keep quiet about your movements.

3: Make your home look occupied

Some of our clients have electric blinds they can set to open and close remotely from an iPad, which is a good decoy. If you don't have the budget for connected devices like these, take simple steps like setting lights on a timer, asking a neighbour to park in your drive and cancelling deliveries so they don't pile up on your doorstep.

4: Get your CCTV in the right place

There's no point having security cameras pointing right at your front door – by the time a burglar has got that far it's too late. Position them further away to detect potential burglars further away with the assistance of perimeter detection. You can enlist a security firm like Croma to monitor your CCTV while you're away. They can move quickly if something happens.

5: Don't hand them the key

Too many people leave a spare key hidden under a rock or in a porch. Needless to say this is asking for trouble. Leave it with a neighbour you trust implicitly.

We hope this is helpful advise and please contact us when you are back off your

holidays for a free valuation to sell your pride and joy!

Roy & Faye O'Connell