Keep burglars at bay when leaving a house empty

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Holidays are a time for fun and relaxation and the last thing anyone would want is to return from a break to find their property has been burgled.

As well as having adequate home insurance in place, here are some tips to help homeowners ensure their properties are protected whilst away.

Make sure the home is locked from the outside world

Don't leave an open invite to enter your property. Many homeowners do exactly this by leaving concealed entrances to a property open – solve this by attaching a chunky padlock onto a gate.

Poor lighting around doors and windows also gives burglars somewhere to hide. Having some motion sensor lighting should help prevent this plan quickly.

Furthermore, Brits are known to hide spare keys under a porch mat or a fake rock which acts as decoration to an entrance.

The fact that this activity is so popular should set alarm bells ringing as many thieves will know to check these hiding places. It is therefore best to remove that spare key and place it in the confines of a house, not on the outside of it.

Get a little help from friends

Asking friends or family to look after a property when it sits empty will mean that holidaymakers have peace of mind that their home is under regular watch.

All that is needed is a trusted friend to pop round and move any newspapers or letters away from the postbox or porch, open and close curtains every day and check everything is in order.

Do not let criminals learn of a holiday

It is fair to say that homeowners are not going to shout from the rooftop to everyone that they are going on holiday next week.

However, posting a message on a social network page detailing the dates of the getaway can be just as bad.

As soon as the message is set live onto a profile, prying eyes will be able find out when a house is going to be empty and for how long – even people who are considered friends.

Brits are also encouraged to refrain from posting any snaps of their holiday abroad until they are back at home, as this can act as another indicator that a property is standing empty.

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Swiftcover and are both trading names of AXA Insurance UK plc, which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority