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For many, holidays are to relax and forget about everything back home. But what if you got a phone call from a concerned neighbour to inform you your house had been broken into, or there had been a fire or water leak.

According to Confused.com, more than 37% of people in the UK have been victims to burglary [1]. Though sometimes these situations cannot be avoided, there are things that can be done to reduce the risk. So, here are some tips on how to keep your home protected while you’re away.


1. Don’t stand out

Burglars are smart and they’ll look for small details which suggest your home is currently unoccupied. This could be:

  • An empty drive way
  • Parcels left on the door step
  • Curtains left constantly open/closed
  • Post Piling up
  • No lights, or those that have been clearly place on a timer
  • Bins that have been collected but not moved back to their usual storage place


To avoid standing out, have someone you trust come in and collect your post, open and close some curtains, put your bins in and switch the lights on/off. This shows others that the home is being looked after and that it is not unoccupied – reducing the risk of a break in[2].


2. Keep Windows and doors closed and locked

Hand turning key to lock windows

Now this might seem obvious but failing to use window locks and all door locks could invalidate your home insurance. It also increases opportunities for burglars to gain easy access to your home. Research provided by the Office of National Statistics suggests that 70% of intruders gain access to properties through the door [3].


3. Keep Valuables out of reach / out of sight

Having valuables in sight of the windows can make your property more appealing to burglary as it presents that the house and its contents are of high value. Keeping keys for the house or a nearby vehicle close to the front door is also a risk, due to the possibility of using a hook to pick up keys through a letterbox and letting themselves in. Research by confused.com suggests that 1 in 4 people leave their keys either near or in their door[4].


4. Turn off Water

Hand turning a Red Valve to switch off the water

According to Compare the market, Water leaks are one of the most common domestic accidents  people return home to after their time away. Issues such as clogged pipes or the pipes expanding with temperature changes can lead to them bursting causing a water leak. Though switching off the water wont stop the water that’s already in he pipes escaping, it will prevent more water from accessing the pipes. Significantly reducing the amount of water damage to your property[5].


5. Turn off Electric

Turning off the electric in your property while you’re away will not only save you money but will also reduce the risk of a fire. By unplugging all appliances and switching off the electric to the property you reduce the chance of a faulty appliance or socket creating a spark and starting a fire [6].

It’s important to check that fire damage is covered by your home insurance policy before going away.

Planning on travelling away from home for more than 30 days? Make your insurance provider aware otherwise your policy may not be valid.


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[1] How can I protect my home from burglars? – Confused.com

[2] How to Keep your Home Safe While you’re on Holiday | comparethemarket.com

[3] Overview of burglary and other household theft – Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)

[4] How can I protect my home from burglars? – Confused.com

[5] Should you turn off the water supply if you go on holiday? | comparethemarket.com

[6] How to Keep your Home Safe While you’re on Holiday | comparethemarket.com

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