Due to its nature, a holiday home is likely to be unoccupied more often than not. If you do not choose to let out your holiday home when you’re not staying there, you need to make sure that you take precautions to protect it while it is empty.

shutterstock 563454895

Things to consider include security risks, damage to the building and damage to contents. Take a look at the list below and think about all of these things before you depart your holiday home next time.

Minimise Fire Risk

  • Turn off electronics not in use.
  • Unplug chargers, appliances and lamps.
  • Blow out candles or incense – don’t leave them to burn out if you’re leaving.

Fires in unattended premises can be devastating to the building and its contents. You should also invest in reliable smoke detectors so that if there is any sign of a fire, passers by or local residents may be made aware. Make sure they are installed in the right places within your holiday home.

Also, it’s possible that you may have a remote heating control system installed, so that before you arrive next time you can heat up your holiday home. Make sure that nothing is left in front of radiators, including appliances.

You should also make sure that all doors in your property are closed before you leave. This can minimise the spread of fire, or at least slow it down.

Secure your holiday home

  • Lock doors and windows
  • Install high quality and extra secure locks
  • Install cameras and an alarm system
  • Hide valuables or remove them from the property

If you’re going to be away from your holiday home for any period of time, you need to make sure it’s as locked as it can be! But even still, you shouldn’t take for granted that your home won’t be a target for thieves, especially if they suspect that no one is there.

If you are installing cameras and a property alarm, it helps if they are visible, putting potential thieves off of trying to enter. Better again is you can get a monitored alarm system to give you further peace of mind.

Don’t leave anything of value close to your windows when you’re leaving, and also think about what you leave outside. If you have a lockable shed, considering putting outdoor items away in there.

Avoid water damage

  • Don’t leave any taps dripping
  • Set timers on heating
  • Fit a leak detection system

The best way to make sure your holiday home is unlikely to have any leaks while you are away is to get it checked regularly. Arrange for a plumber to check fittings and fixtures annually to give you the confidence that everything is in good working order.

In the winter months, water in pipes can freeze and burst, therefore it is also a good idea to leave a timer on your heating for a couple of hours daily. It doesn’t have to be too high, just something to keep it running regularly. It will be worth it in the long run.

Weather proofing

  • Tie down or put away anything loose in your outside space
  • Maintain guttering and pipes
  • Leave flood defences nearby in areas near water

Just make a few checks before you leave your holiday home unattended. In case of a storm or high winds, make sure there are no loose items outside, such as children’s toys (including trampolines), gardening equipment or chairs. Anything that is too large to be put inside should be well secured to the ground.

Flooding poses a risk to many holiday homes by rivers, canals, lakes or the sea. If you can at least leave sandbags or similar around your property, then someone may be able to help you out by deploying if necessary.

Again, regular maintenance can help to avoid weather damage. Keeping gutters clean means that heavy rain won’t fill them, keeping an eye out for broken tiles means they won’t fly off in high winds, and so on.

If you need any advice on how to insure your holiday home and its contents, talk to Britton Insurance for a new quote or to renew an existing policy. Our highly trained staff will be willing to help you on policies and claims.