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How to keep your home safe and secure while on holiday

How to keep your home safe and secure while on holiday

The last thing you want on holiday is a phone call about a burglary or a burst pipe in your home. Here are a few tips for avoiding disasters – so you can really relax on your break. The last thing you want on holiday is a phone call about a burglary or a burst pipe in your home. Here are a few tips for avoiding disasters – so you can really relax on your break.

Patrick Ikhena
From the Travel team
minute read
posted 22 NOVEMBER 2019

Keeping your home secure while you’re away

Around 40% of burglaries happen when the house is empty. With burglaries costing the average homeowner around £2,178, it’s worth looking at a few ways to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away on holiday.

1. Don’t advertise that you’ll be away: putting a post on Facebook might feel like a great idea – but it does tell potential burglars exactly how long you’ll be gone for.

Similarly, loud holiday conversations in a local shop or hairdresser – where you could easily be followed home – are best avoided.

2. Leave a light on: research shows that most burglars target properties they think are unoccupied, so leave a light on to make it look as if someone’s in, rather than shutting the curtains. A timer system is a good way to protect your home while you’re away, as you can set it for different rooms at different times.

3. Ask the neighbours to keep an eye out: if you’re on friendly terms with your neighbours, ask them to pop in every few days to pick up the post and generally just be around to check everything is okay.

4. Avoid obvious clues: it’s a bit of a human compulsion to leave the house spotless when we go away. Sadly, this can point to an empty home. A big pile of letters on the mat also tells everyone there’s no one around, so ask a neighbour to pick them up for you.

5. Move valuables out of sight: put anything fancy or any equipment such as laptops out of the view of prying eyes.


As of 23rd Match 2020, the UK Government announced a series of restrictions to travel, public spaces and gatherings. For a minimum of three weeks, people are being instructed to stay at home whenever possible. For this reason, travel insurance policies purchased from this date, for trips within the UK with a start date before 13th April 2020, will not be valid.
The UK Government also instructed all British tourists and travellers, that are currently abroad, to return to the UK as soon as possible.
As of 17th March 2020, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have advised against all non-essential travel abroad for an initial period of 30 days. This means that any travel insurance purchased from this date, for trips outside of the UK with a start date before 16th April 2020, will not be covered by the provider.
Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11th March 2020, so this may also affect your policy, particularly those taken out on or after that date. Please check any existing policies carefully, to find out what you’re covered for.
For more information please see our coronavirus and travel insurance page.

Keeping your home safe when you’re away

1. Turn the water off

Leaks aren’t usually a big deal – if you’re at home. Unfortunately, even a small leak left for a week or two can cause a major flood that damages your property.

If you’re away for a while, turn off your water at your inside stop valve (there’s plenty of help on YouTube if that phrase is a mystery to you). If you’re going for long, just make sure all the taps are turned off tightly.

2. Unplug electricals

As well as saving a few pennies, unplugging everything you can at the wall protects your home from fire. Just don’t unplug the freezer or fridge unless they’re empty. Returning from holiday to rancid fish fingers and ice cream soup is not what you want.

3. Check your home insurance policy

Before you go away, double-check you know what’s covered, how long your house can be empty (some insurance providers have a 60-day limit but it is usually 30 days) and the number you need to call if something happens.

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