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.

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.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
3
minute read
Do you know someone who could benefit from this article?
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.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE 

A travel traffic light system has been introduced for international travel. From 19 July 2021, trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. However, you’ll still need to fulfil any pre-departure requirements, such as testing. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant local authority.

If a country is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you’re aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and to check travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed at short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red listed countries. Should you choose to travel against the FCDO rules, you will not be covered by any travel insurance policy you purchase. Some providers do offer cover for international travel if you’re travelling for essential purposes, however most do not. In all cases, should you have any queries please check the policy wording or contact your chosen provider before purchasing to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Find out more here

Customers with more serious pre-existing medical conditions

Our panel includes insurance providers who quote cover for all medical conditions declared on our website, with no exclusions.

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPs) has launched a directory of insurance providers on its Money Advice Service website that may be able to provide quotes over the phone, if you have more serious medical conditions. Find more information at the Money Advice Service or by calling the British Insurance Brokers’ Association on 0370 950 1790.

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.

Need to take out home insurance before you go on holiday? Start comparing now

Looking for a quote?

Get a new travel insurance quote in minutes and you could start saving

Get a quote
Compare travel insurance Get a quote