A simples guide

How to protect your home when you go on holiday

It’s hard to imagine how it would be to return from a holiday, nicely relaxed, to find that your home had been broken into whilst you were away.

On the other hand, you also don’t want to spend your hard earned time away worrying about what might be happening in your absence. Taking some sensible, practical actions before you go could give you some peace of mind, and possibly save a good deal of heart break.


Trusted neighbour or friends

It could really help if you have someone nearby that you can ask to keep an eye on the place. About 60% of burglaries take place when no one’s at home. Thieves are always on the lookout for a house that looks unoccupied.

If you’ve someone you can trust, let them have a spare key. In that way they can ensure that any mail or junk mail doesn’t build up and perhaps they could even move curtains around for you. Someone having a key could also be helpful if there was a leak or other emergency in the house.

Asking them to park their car on your drive also helps give the appearance of someone being at home. Even something as simple as fetching your dustbin back in from the street after the bin collector have been will make a difference.


Things to do before you go

Even if you’ve no one that you want to trust with things while you’re on holiday, there are a number of common sense things you can do to help reduce the risk of your house being a target for thieves.

1) If you have things delivered, make sure you cancel them. You don’t want newspapers building up where they might be seen, or bottles of milk accumulating on your step. Think about any deliveries that might have been scheduled, you don’t want a parcel left outside for a period of time.

If you’re worried about your post, Royal Mail do offer a “Keepsafe” service which will postpone deliveries while you’re away.

2) Outside, mowing your lawn before you go away in the summer could help prevent your garden resembling a field while you’re away.

3) If you’re concerned that the exterior of your house is dark, consider installing some movement sensitive security lighting.

4) Lock up. Yes, this sounds obvious, but check your windows as well as your doors and don’t forget any outbuildings, sheds, garages and so on.

5) Don’t leave spare keys under plant pots or large stones. You may think your hiding place is original, but a determined thief will almost certainly find them if they decide to go looking.

6) Inside the house, you could consider some timer plugs that would allow you to turn lamps on and off at different times, giving the house the appearance of being occupied.

7) Hide or lock your valuables away. The sentimental loss is probably even more damaging than the physical loss in the event of a burglary. Insurance might replace your laptop, but nothing can replace the photos you had stored on it.

Potentially, consider moving valuables to a relative’s or a close friend’s house for safekeeping. Make sure your items are covered though before you do this. Often, insurance policies only cover items in the home as standard.

Man on phone

A word on social media

Oh, it’s so, so tempting to boast to your friends and family that you’re off on a trip. Did you know though, one in six of us have fully open social media accounts? That means not only are your friends looking on jealously, but thieves may be looking on too at your advertised absence.

Nearly 30% of us ‘check in’ while we’re away, tagging ourselves far away from home and 40% post photos of our trip while we’re away.

We know it’s hard to resist, but at very least secure your accounts. If you must share, only do so with close family and friends until you’re safely back at home.

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