If you have managed to book a holiday abroad or decided not to risk it and are considering enjoying a staycation in the UK, it will be good to mark the end of full lockdowns (fingers crossed it stays that way!). However, exciting though it is that most of us are going to be taking the opportunity to get away on holiday, it is important that we don’t walk out of the door with the buckets and spades and forget to make sure that our homes and belongings are as secure as they can be.
Going on holiday
Social media posts of your holiday can give thieves all the information they need to know that you are away from home. Either wait until you are home to post those photos or change your settings to private.
Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your house, pick up any post or packages and even water the plants outside. You can then reciprocate when it is their time to go on holiday.
Even though it is summer, invest in inexpensive timers which you can use with your indoor lights to come on for part of the hours of darkness. Cheap, simple and effective. Smart lighting both inside and outside, a more expensive addition, but an extra layer of security, can also act as effective deterrents.
Unless it is a winter holiday and you need to keep the house and your pipework from freezing up, turn off/turn down your hot water and central heating. Saves money and reduces the likelihood of any water leaks or worse, while you are away.
Whether you are staying at home and just planning day trips or making the most of the sunny weather at weekends, here are a few more tips to keep your property safe.
Tempting though it maybe to open all of your windows and doors when it is hot to keep the house cool, it also is an open invitation to potential thieves, particularly at night. Better to be uncomfortable than robbed, so keep your downstairs windows closed at night. Research also shows that you can keep your house cooler during a hot day by keeping windows and curtains closed.
Spending time in the garden means that you might not hear signs of break in. Make sure access doors are kept locked.
Many break ins are opportunist rather than part of some grand plan. Leaving valuables in plain sight near open windows, even near cat flaps and letterboxes increase the likelihood of opportunist crime. It only takes a second to reach in and steal.
Not exactly original but highly effective as a deterrent, particularly against the opportunist thief. Seeing a large coloured alarm box on a property will deter the majority of would be thieves. Even a decoy alarm box has the power to deter.
Your neighbours are your best defence. The neighbourhood watch scheme has been a resounding success and if there isn’t one in your road, set one up. Not only will you get plenty of support from the police but neighbours working for the good of the street or road in which you all live has been proven to cut the incidence of crime.
How long has it been since you reviewed your policy and what is covered? Also if you are going to be away for an extended period (typically more than 30 consectuive days), make sure you are still covered.
We hope this has been helpful to you, please consider before you go away and enjoy your holiday!
Two points to consider for advisers
While the main consideration as an adviser is to see that your clients are insured, make sure that it is to the right level, so when they are away they are properly covered if something should happen!
Also consider the value of a home emergency ‘add on’ so that clients have a service they can call on in the event of a break in when boarding up or glass replacement is called for.