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How to keep your home safe while you’re on holiday

How to keep your home safe while you’re on holiday

Whether you’re jetting off for a two-week trip or planning a long weekend break, check our top tips on how to protect your home while you’re away.

Chris King
From the Home team
3
minute read
posted 8 JANUARY 2020

Try to make your house look occupied

Not only are thieves more likely to target a house that appears unoccupied, but they can recognise common deterrents such as closed curtains during the day. The following tips can help to make your house look occupied while you’re away:

Don’t let mail pile up - this is a sure sign of a vacant property

Give a trusted neighbour or friend a key and ask them to open and close the curtains and collect your mail. This is also helpful in case of a leak or other emergency

Ask them to park their car on your drive if possible, and to fetch your bin from the street after rubbish has been collected.

Consider setting up a smart home security system

Even basic plug-in timers that will turn lamps on and off can give the appearance that someone is home

Mow the lawn before you go away so it doesn’t look untended.

Cancel any deliveries

Make sure you cancel any regular deliveries, such as your daily newspaper or milk. Don’t order anything online that may arrive while you’re away. An undelivered parcel sitting outside your home is a sure sign no one’s there.

If there’s no helpful neighbour to hand, Royal Mail offers a Keepsafe service that will hold you mail for up to 100 days and deliver it to you once you’re home.

If you’re going away for a fortnight, the service will look after your post for 17 days for just £17.

Lock up

It may sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be amazed at how many people leave a window open or door unlocked when they go away. Around 60% of burglars enter through unlocked doors and windows.

  • Fit window locks as well as those for your doors and ensure they’re all locked before you go away. Don’t forget to secure any outbuildings, sheds and garages
  • Don’t leave anything unlocked as some home insurance policies only cover burglary claims on an unoccupied home if there are signs of forced entry
  • Keep tools locked away so they can’t be used to break into your home. If you’ve no option but to leave a ladder outside, ensure it’s secured to a permanent fixture with a padlock and chain

Secure your valuables

Keep your valuables out of sight or lock them away if possible. Having a safe secured to a permanent fixture could be a good investment and it’s a safe place to store your valuables while you’re away. Just make sure it’s well fixed as small safes can easily be carried away by thieves and are an obvious target if found.

Don't advertise your absence

Be careful what you post on social media. If you mention on your Facebook account that you’re jetting off, you could be advertising your absence to potential thieves. Leave posting photos and videos until your return.

Going on an extended trip?

Home buildings insurance typically covers an empty house for up to 30 days. If you’re intending on staying away for longer, you’ll need to tell your insurance provider, or your policy may be invalid.

For more than 30 days, consider unoccupied property insurance which could cover your home for longer periods against fire, flood and storm damage, vandalism and theft or attempted theft.

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