Summer is a time for holidays – in this country or further afield.
In your excitement to get away for a well-earned break, though, it is important to remember a few straightforward safeguards to keep your home safe and secure whilst you are away.
Safeguarding your home
The prudent homeowner, of course, will already have home insurance to protect the building and its contents against accidental damage, theft and attempted theft.
While that home insurance is busy protecting your home, though, remember that any insurer is entitled to expect you to take every reasonable precaution to mitigate losses through theft or damage – especially when you are planning to leave the property empty while on holiday.
Failure to do so - for example, leaving a window open while you are away so that your house can get some air in - may result in your insurer reducing the settlement of any claim accordingly or even rejecting it altogether.
So, here are some tips and suggestions for preventative measures you might take while you are away:
Windows and doors
- believe it or not, the majority of break-ins are made by thieves entering your home through the front door;
- a story in the Express newspaper on the 25th of October 2018, revealed that 74% of such home invasions are made through the front door;
- make sure it is sturdy enough to deter all but the most determined of burglars, therefore, and when you are away from home, ensure that it is locked and dead-bolted;
- make sure, too, that all your windows are firmly closed – and, preferably, also fitted with security locks;
- installing an automated light next to the entrance, too, may help deter a thief;
Don’t advertise the fact that you are away on social media
- the last thing you want to do when you go away on holiday is to advertise to all and sundry that your home is going to be empty – as a newspaper report highlighted last year, John Terry’s home was burgled after posting on social media that he was away on holiday;
- so, avoid giving away those details on the social media pages you use, as you could find that in the event of you trying to make a claim for a burglary that occurred while you were on holiday and which you mentioned on social media, your claim could be rejected;
- having friendly neighbours might really pay off when you go away on holiday;
- not only might they generally keep an eye on the comings and goings to your home, but you might even ask them to park their car in your driveway from time to time, to create the impression to any passer-by that the property is occupied;
- as we touched on earlier in this blog, motion-sensitive exterior lighting is going to help those watchful neighbours and alert them to suspicious goings-on in the night time – their timely call to the police could result in a burglar being caught red-handed;
- strategically placed lighting may also provide added security inside your home – timer-switches in various rooms of the property can be made to come at various times of the evening to give the impression that someone is at home.
If you are lucky enough to be taking an extended holiday – a world cruise or to visit friends or relatives who live abroad, for example – remember that your empty home is going to need the added protection of standalone unoccupied property insurance if you are going to be away for longer than a month or so.
For more tips on protecting your property, whether you are at home or away, please read our Guide to Property Security.