It’s that time of year when our minds start to turn to booking holidays.
As the entire family gets ready to escape for a week or two, it’s important to remember the risks it can bring for your home. At this time of year, burglaries increase as more people leave their homes unattended for long periods of time.
An empty home is an easy target for potential burglars who know many families plan their holidays at this time of year, so don’t let your home become one of them.
Taking the time to secure and protect your home before going away will ensure you can enjoy your break with peace of mind and without worrying about what’s going on back home. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your risk of burglary while you’re off enjoying your holiday.
Make sure everything is secured
Before you go away, take the time to check every window and door is locked and switch on your house alarm if you have one. Anything that may catch a burglar’s eye should also be removed from sight and stored in a safe place. This can include laptops, cameras, jewellery and any other valuables. It’s a good idea to put away any chargers, too, as this can be a sign that there are valuables inside the house.
Invest in smart home technology
Home security systems are more accessible and affordable than ever before. What’s more, most smart home solutions are quick and easy to install, making them an ideal last-minute option for holiday-goers. From doorbell cameras to motion sensors, there are options to suit every type of home.
As a secondary benefit, having a home security system installed may also reduce your insurance costs, so it’s worth checking with your insurance provider if you do invest in some new security kit.
Try to make your home look lived in
If your house doesn’t look empty, it won’t stick out as an obvious target for burglars. While it’s not always easy to make a house look lived in, there are certain measures you can take. If you have a timer switch, make sure your lights are switched on for a few hours every day. Alternatively, a number of smart lighting systems allow you to control your home lighting from your mobile phone or tablet, giving you the ability to switch the lights on and off at various times throughout your trip.
Avoid posting on social media
You probably can’t wait to share your holiday photos with your friends and family back home, but it might be best to wait until you get back. Even though social media has made it easy to share everything instantly, you don’t want those photos to fall into the wrong hands. If a burglar sees that you’re away, they’ll know your home is an easy target.
Serious warnings have been issued in the past regarding the use of social media while on holiday. The police have advised people to stop posting about holidays on social media, even if you have the most stringent security settings, as it puts your home at risk. And Confused.com has been quoted as saying that “sharing your pictures or your location while you are away can be seen as reckless and would invalidate cover as most insurance policies state that reasonable care must be taken to secure a home – and that includes discretion about trips”. (Insurance Business Magazine)
Inform your neighbours
If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, ask them to keep an eye on your home while you’re away. Better still, invite them or their guests to use your driveway to give the appearance of someone being home.
Don’t put your address on your luggage tags
Luggage tags can be a great way of protecting your luggage should it get lost, but don’t make the mistake of including your address. If somebody finds your luggage, they only need a way to contact you – a phone number or email will suffice. Including your address means anyone who sees your case will know exactly where you live and that your house is likely to be empty for a while.
If you have experienced a loss and are having difficulties with your insurance claim, then it makes sense to use a professional to deal with your insurer. Morgan Clark has worked on many difficult claims and helped our clients reach a satisfactory settlement within the terms of their policy. Contact us to find out more.