Skegness Locksmith
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Closing Down Your Caravan Tips

When it comes to that sad time of the year where we have to close down our caravans for the winter. It is important to make sure that you leave your caravan in a safe way and give yourself the best chance of not being broken into.

As a fellow caravan owner I have put together some tips on closing down at the end of the season.

1) Make sure that you do not leave any valuables in the caravan. So many people do and that is why caravans are targeted. Just think, if no one left anything in their caravans then burglars would have no reason to break into empty caravans at all.

2) Leave your curtains, blinds and net curtains open (Ideally take them away for the winter and give them a clean at the same time) I walk around some sites in the winter checking on owners and friends vans and I see so many with the nets left up. To a burglar that says that there could be something in there that is being hidden away from view.

3) Move all soft furnishings and mattresses away from the outside walls of the caravan as the outside walls can sometimes get damp. I move all the cushions etc off my seating and pile them up in the middle of the van on top of the dining table. I also cover them over with a large flat sheet just to keep the sun off them so they do not fade.

4) Disconnect all electrical appliances and turn sockets off at the wall. Do not leave plug in air freshners on while you are not there as these can be a common cause of fires. Although some sites turn the electric off some do not and some turn it back on early.

5) Try to empty the fridge and freezer a day early before you are closing so that it has time to defrost and so that you can give it a clean and dry before leaving. Leave the door open when it is switched off to stop it smelling and going mouldy.

6) I recommend buying some of those 6 for £5 disposable dehumidifiers from the bargain stalls as these collect the dampness. Some people say to leave bowls of salt out but I was told by a metal dealer that salt can make some brass and metal fittings discoloured.

7) It is a good idea where possible to move furniture like coffee tables and the like to a harder surface or on top of the seating to give the carpet time to recover from the weight marks.

8) Put some signs in the window that say no valuables are left in the caravan. It may sound silly but some people leave the caravan pretty much as it was all year, The signs tell burglars that you are active in closing down your van and removing all valuable items. Think about it, if your curtains are open and there are signs present but the van next to yours has nets up and no signs, which is the one that they are most likely to target?

9) I always tell people where possible to leave the cupboard doors open too. If a potential burglar looks through the windows and sees that there is nothing inside including empty cupboards then they can pretty much see there is no valuables hidden in the caravan. A closed cupboard could be covering a valuable item so dont give them a reason to think that.

10) Consider buying one of those cheap battery powered motion sensor alarms (if you do not have a proper alarm fitted). They run off battery and can just be enough to draw attention to a break in and anything that causes noise is off putting for a burglar. They don't like to have attention drawn to them and they dont normally hang around long enough to investigate what sort of alarm you have. For all they know it could be connected to the site reception and security could already be on the way.

11) Ask yourself how secure your door locks are? I see some people telling owners to buy a £10 lock from a local shop and fit it yourself. Are you really happy leaving your pride and joy secured by a cheap lock that can take seconds to get into? Imagine having to tell the insurance company that you bought a £10 lock and fitted it yourself.

12) Make sure that your locks do not stick out of the door too much. I see so many poorly fitted locks in caravan doors that stick out more than a centimetre. That makes it even easier to get in, they don't even need to break off or bend up the bottom of your handle to snap the lock if its too long.

13) Consider who has a key for your caravan, Sometimes the person doing the drain down might have one, the cleaner might, the site could and anyone who has rented your van that season could have had one cut for an extra key while they was on holiday. It might be time to consider changing the locks so no one has access to your pride and joy after all is closed down. Make sure that you inform anyone that could be going in to your van to double check that the door is locked and all windows closed before they leave the caravan.

14) Sheds are an increasingly common thing to be broken into during the winter months and many people keep them locked up and leave things in them. My advice here is take home all your valuables and empty your shed before closing down. Leave the shed doors unlocked so that a would be theif can have a look inside and see it is empty without damaging your shed to find that out. The damage they cause can often be more expensive than anything inside. If you do lock your shed up over the winter do not use a cheap padlock as they rust inside and may need to be cut off at the start of the next season.

15) If you can see your gas and or electricity meters from outside then I always snap a couple of photos so that I have the readings to compare to when I go back to make sure that no one has used it or that you are not being charged for times you are not there.

16) Lastly and most importantly, make sure that you get your van professionally drained down by a professional gas man or plumber. It is not worth taking the risk of your boiler bursting its bottom or your pipes splitting and ruining your van. It will not be very secure or useful next season with a really soggy floor or a massive hole in the floor.

Mr Steve hopes you have a good winter and I hope it goes fast enough so that it doesn't feel like forever. It does sometimes feel like ages until it is time to come back. Our caravans are our pride and joy and it is always worth making sure they are safe and secure. If you need a new snap resistant lock fully and correctly fitted to your caravan then give me a call and book in your lock change. I can fit them in the daytime, evening or at weekends so whenever is best for you.

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Please note this article should not be copied and or distributed or used without prior written consent. This article has been written by Mr Steve The Locksmith to help and advise people on making sure their property is secure. All contents of the article are for advice purposes only and are the views of Mr Steve The Locksmith. Mr Steve The Locksmith accepts no responsability for any outcomes from any actions acted upon due to any information or advice given. You should always act upon your own thoughts and judgments and seek further advice where possible.

About Mr Steve The Locksmith

Mr Steve is a domestic, commercial & 24 hour emergency locksmith covering Skegness, Ingoldmells, Chapel St Leonards, Wainfleet, Louth, Mablethorpe, Spilsby, Alford & surrounding areas. He offers a 24 hour call out service and can gain entry to your home if you are locked out, replace your locks with new, safer, more secure ones and even change or upgrade your UPVC door or window locks & handles.
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