If you leave your home unoccupied while you are on holiday, it can be an irresistible target for thieves. That said, there are plenty of things that you can do to make your home, and the possessions contained within it, more secure while you are away.
A home that looks like nobody is in can be an irresistible target for thieves. The ideal solution to this would be to get a reliable friend or relative to house-sit for you, but if this isn’t possible, you should take steps to make it look like your house is occupied. First off, you need to cancel any regular deliveries, such as milk or newspapers. Not only will this save you a bit of money, it will also prevent the uncollected items on your doorstep from building up, giving a clear signal that the house is unoccupied.
Another thing that can be highly effective in creating the illusion of occupancy is to install some timer switches. These can be set up to turn lights and radios on and off at certain times. Leaving all your curtains closed can also be a bit of a giveaway, but you don’t want thieves peering into your living room either. A good compromise is to use blinds, as these will let some of the light from inside through without allowing a clear view of your rooms from outside. These are only necessary on clear windows, as frosted or textured glass, as is often found in bathroom windows, will create the same effect.
Installing or upgrading door and window locks can make it more difficult for a thief to gain access to your property without having to break in. Breaking a window or door will make a lot more noise, which might be detected by neighbours, so thieves are reluctant to do this unless there is no other way in. Exterior doors should be fitted with a minimum of two locks, one of which should be a secure mortice lock with five or more levers. Good quality window locks are also a must, and of course you should be sure to completely close all your windows, as even a small opening may be enough to allow a thief to gain access.
Installing a burglar alarm system can act as an effective deterrent to thieves, and if you are broken into, it will draw attention to your property and hopefully scare off a thief. These come in various guises, from cheap ‘dummy’ alarms that won’t trigger but may act as a deterrent, to pricier fully-integrated systems. You can also install CCTV cameras to act as a deterrent – again, fake ones may do the job but with real ones you can get a video record of any suspicious activity.
Finally, you should make sure that the contents of your home are fully insured before you leave, so that if you do fall victim to burglary, you will be compensated for the loss of any items. This also protects your possessions in case anything else should happen to your home while you are away, such as fire or flood damage. In most cases, items will be replaced on a new for old basis, so you will be provided with brand new items of equivalent specifications as replacements for your lost or damaged possessions.
This information was provided to you by Allianz Your Cover ( www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk).