Police are urging Kiwis heading off on a summer holiday to secure their homes properly and do everything they can to deter thieves from breaking in.

In a video posted on social media Inspector Bruce O'Brien offered some simple safety advice and appealed to people going on holiday to do their bit to keep their homes crime free.

Hi everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying the holiday break. Unfortunately, thieves do not take holidays so here is Inspector Bruce O'Brien with some tips to keep you and your family safe.

Posted by Counties Manukau Police on Sunday, 25 December 2016

"Unfortunately, thieves don't take holidays and they'll be looking for any opportunity to steal your new gifts," he said.

"If you are going away on holiday, please make sure that your house is secured... and that your neighbours are looking out for you."

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O'Brien said while police would be working 24 hours a day, seven hours a week to keep the community safe, the public had a part to play too.

"if you see anything suspicious in your neighbourhood please give us a call."

How to protect your home

Always lock up. Burglars often enter through unlocked doors and windows or they take advantage of weak locks.

Install good quality locks and use them. Check that you will be able to escape easily in a fire or other emergency.

Use a reputable locksmith.

Lock the front door if you're in the back garden.

Lock your house if you are having a rest or doing something that needs a lot of concentration, such as studying or sewing.

Lock away tools and ladders because burglars could use them to break in.
Lock garden sheds and your garage if you can.

Sensor lights are an excellent security device because they light up automatically if somebody moves nearby.

Keep trees and shrubs trimmed so they don't provide hiding places for burglars.
Keep windows secure.

Guard your keys. Don't have personal details on your keys (such as your name, phone number or address).

Don't invite burglars in - never leave notes on a door stating that you are out.

When you go away, make sure your home looks 'lived in'.

Home security checklists

Before you go out:

• all doors locked

• garage locked

• all windows shut securely

• tools and ladders put away securely

• spare keys with neighbour (not 'hidden')

• doors clear (no notes on them).

Before you go away:

• tell your neighbour when and where you're going

• cancel mail, paper etc

• give your neighbour a contact phone number

• put a lamp on a timer

• curtains open, blinds up

• turn telephone ringer sound down

• lock all doors, close all windows.

Ask your neighbour to:

• clear your letterbox

• close your curtains at night

• use your clothesline occasionally

• watch your home

• use your driveway occasionally

• report any suspicious behaviour.