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Burglary Prevention During Your Holiday
Whether you’re heading away for work or play, it’s important to make sure that your home is secure when you leave for an extended trip.
Did you know that, according to a report by M&S Bank, one in ten people have had their homes burgled? Even more worryingly, a quarter of these have been broken into more than once, which suggests that burglars are identifying easy targets and going back for more.
While this isn’t the most pleasant topic to think about when you’re planning time away, it’s sensible to take a few easy precautions to help your home appear lived in during your trip. This will help give you peace of mind, too!
- Get to know your neighbours. While we’re not all going to be best mates with the people next door, it’s great if you can look out for each other when your properties are standing empty. Exchange numbers so that you can send one another a quick text if there is any information that needs to be passed on in your absence.
- Ask a trusted friend or relative to visit. This is especially important if you’re going to be away for a while. If you can give someone a set of keys and ask them to pop in every few days to water plants and open/close the curtains, you’ll overcome the worry of leaving the place standing empty.
- Related to the previous point, resist the temptation to shut all the curtains – it just makes the property look abandoned and will attract the wrong kind of attention. Instead, try leaving some curtains open and others partly closed, and put lights on timer switches so that the place appears to be occupied in the evenings.
- Lock windows as well as doors. Making sure your doors are secure is a no-brainer, but sometimes people forget that windows are just as important. An unlocked window not only leaves your home unsecured; it could potentially invalidate your home insurance in the event of a break in, if your policy states that your windows are lockable.
- Speaking of unused devices, make sure you set your house alarm. Many people are tempted to leave alarms switched off in case they are activated in error, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Keep post out of sight. Nothing screams “empty” more than a house with post sticking out of the letterbox. Did you know that Royal Mail runs the Keepsafe service, where it will store your post for up to 66 days if you are going to be away? This is a good option to prevent post piling up if no one can visit the property while you are away. And don’t forget to cancel delivers for milk, eggs and newspapers in your absence.
- Make your house look lived in. If passers by can see through the windows, leave a magazine open on the kitchen table with a mug next to it, so it looks as if you’ve just nipped off to do something and will be back soon. You could also leave a radio on a timer to make your property sounds lived in.
- Lastly, don’t broadcast your absence! It’s really tempting to post pictures of your sunny holiday on social media, but you’re simply telling the world that you’re not at home. While this is fine if your privacy settings are high and you trust your online friends, it’s perhaps safer to avoid these kinds of online posts while you’re away. Similarly, don’t shout about your impending departure from the rooftops – tell your neighbour quietly, rather than bellowing across the fence. And avoid talking about your holiday while taking local public transport.
Every little thing can help prevent undesirables from taking a chance on your home. We can offer you a free home insurance quotation whether you are a landlord, vendor or a tenant. Please click here and we will call you back.
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