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 out our top tips on how to protect your home when you’re away. 

Try to make your house look occupied

Thieves are always on the lookout for a house that appears unoccupied. So, if you’ve a friend or neighbour that you can trust, give them a spare key and ask them to close and open the curtains, and ensure your post doesn’t build up.

Ask them to park their car on your drive, if possible, and to fetch your bin from the street after the rubbish has been collected. Someone with a key could also prove helpful if there’s a leak or other emergency in your home.

Inside your house, consider a smart home security system or basic, plug-in timers that will turn lamps on and off at different times, giving the appearance that someone is at home.

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

Bungalow

Cancel any deliveries

Make sure you cancel any regular deliveries, such as your daily newspaper or bottles of milk. Think about any deliveries that might have been scheduled, as an undelivered parcel sitting outside your home is a sure sign no one’s there

If you’re worried about your post and there’s no helpful neighbour to hand, Royal Mail offers a Keepsafe service that will hold onto your mail for up to 66 days and return 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 £14.

Lock up

Lock your windows as well as your doors, and secure any outbuildings, sheds and garages. Don’t leave anything unlocked as some insurance providers might only pay out for a burglary claim 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 house. And if you have no option but to leave a ladder outside, ensure it’s secured to a permanent fixture with a padlock and chain.

Don’t leave spare keys outside under plant pots or large stones. You may think your hiding place is original, but a determined thief will almost certainly find them.

Secure your valuables

Keep your valuables out of sight or lock them away, if possible.

Consider moving your valuables to a relative’s or close friend’s house, but check with your insurance provider that they’ll still be covered. 

Don’t advertise your absence

Avoid the temptation of telling everyone via social media that you’re jetting off. If your Facebook account is fully open, you could be advertising your absence to potential thieves.

Resist ‘checking in’ and posting photos online of your trip while you’re away.

Extended holidays and your home insurance

Going on an extended trip?

Home buildings insurance typically covers an empty house for a set period, so if you’re intending to be away for more than 30 days you’ll need to tell your insurance provider – or you could find that your home insurance is invalid. You may need to consider unoccupied property insurance, which could cover your home for damage by fire, flood, storms or vandalism and offers protection against theft or attempted theft.