Britton Insurance Insta post 13

Leaving your home unattended is always a worry, and having niggling concerns can cast a cloud over your holiday. Taking all the steps you can to secure your home will give you peace of mind – here are our top 12 tips.

Upgrade your security system

Installing a monitored security system will notify you if there is movement in your home or if doors or windows are tampered with. Many include an app you can put on your phone so you can keep an eye on what’s happening. As many of these are not highly visible, pick up a fake box and stickers to put off would-be burglars. Video doorbells – often motion-activated – let you see who is coming up to your door, and you can save the footage if you need it later. A sensor light, that comes on when disturbed by movement, is an old-school but effective deterrent.

Remember your doorstep

An overflowing letterbox or parcels on the porch are a sure way to advertise the fact that you’re not home. Ask a friend to keep an eye and move mail into the house. Remember to pause regular deliveries such as newspapers, produce boxes or milk, if you get them.

Ask a favour of a friend

There’s no substitute for someone actually going to your home to keep an eye on it. Ask a trusted friend, family member or neighbour to call in every few days to move mail, water plants, and check on doors and windows. Overgrown lawns are also a sign that no-one’s home, so if they are also able to mow the grass around your home, so much the better (return the favour when they are away!). Likewise with the weekly bin collection – sticking to routine is a great deterrent so see if someone can put your bins out, and bring them in again afterwards.

Tell your neighbours

If you have a good relationship with your neighbours, let them know you’re going away – they are close to hand and easily keep an eye on your property. Leave a contact number with them if they don’t already have it.

Use a timer

Plug your tv/radio and lamps into an electric timer. Appliances coming on at certain times of the day gives the impression that someone is home. Some smart light bulbs can connect to an app, again allowing you to control them while you’re not at home.

Keep tools locked away

If someone is checking out your empty property, don’t make it easy for them to get in. Keep tools and ladders locked away and out of sight.

Leave your car at home

If possible, leave your car in the driveway so it looks like someone is home. If you are a one-car family and are using it on holiday, ask a neighbour to use your driveway while you are away.

Don’t post on social media

Tempting as it is to share your fabulous trip online, don’t! Posting updates from overseas, particularly on public forums, is advertising that your house is empty. Make sure your privacy settings are set to private or – best of all – wait until you get home to post. Some social media sites tag your location so make sure this is switched off while you are away, for both you and your children.

Lock up your valuables

Put any expensive items in a safe or lockbox out of sight to keep valuables safe in case you are burgled.

Install a smart lock

If distributing many copies of the keys to your house makes you uncomfortable, think about installing a smart lock. This gives access to your home by means of a keypad and code with a limited lifespan, meaning you can change it when you get home to prevent unannounced visits!

…and it’s not just theft to worry about!

If you are concerned about water damage, shut off the water before you leave, particularly if you are travelling during the colder months where burst frozen pipes are a worry. Anticipate damage

from storms by securing garden furniture and toys, and keep up with garden maintenance such as removing dead tree branches. To help reduce the risk of electrical fires while your home is empty, switch off and unplug those appliances you can such as TVs, radios, small kitchen appliances, fans and lamps. Close internal doors to help slow the spread of fire and smoke should the worse happen.

Check your household insurance

Make sure your policy is valid and still in date. Take a moment to make sure the coverage is adequate. If you are leaving your home unattended for more than 30 days, check with your insurer as it may affect the terms of your policy. If you are looking for an affordable house insurance policy without sacrificing the level of cover, get in touch with Britton Insurance. Request a quote to see how much you can save!