Home protection

How to protect your home while you're away

Going away for a week or two? Zurich shares some tips for protecting your property…

The summer months can be a prime time for break-ins: the warmer weather tends to mean open windows, open doors and unlocked garden gates, which can provide opportunities for burglars.

There are many things you can do to cut the risk of your home being targeted while you’re topping up your tan – and don’t forget, you need to consider things like fire and damage as well as security.

To help, the Zurich team have put together some handy pointers for safeguarding your home while you’re away this summer…

Turn to a neighbour

If you’re friendly with a neighbour, they may be willing to keep a watchful eye over your home while it’s empty and alert you of anything suspicious (you can offer to return the favour or buy them a box of chocolates).

If you trust them enough to give them your spare key, they could collect your bins, open and close the curtains, and gather your post to store it out of sight (make that an extra-large box of chocolates).

And on the subject of post, don’t forget to cancel any newspaper or magazine subscriptions while you’re on holiday (plus you’ll save yourself some cash!)

Gear up your garden

The UK weather is temperamental at best, even during a summer heatwave. So think about moving your outdoor furniture indoors.

The same goes for any other items that could fall and break or be swept up by a strong gust of wind and damage things like your fence, shed or conservatory.

Entrust in tech

From security cameras to motion-sensor lights, tech can really help to bolster your home security while you’re away. Cameras and lights, particularly, are great thief deterrents, as burglars know they increase the chance of them being caught in the act or identified at a later date.

You can also install indoor cameras which pair up with a phone or tablet, allowing you to check your home from the comfort of your sun lounger.

Sign out of social

As much as you might want to share holiday snaps with friends and family back home, doing so on social media is essentially like advertising your home to unwanted guests.

Consider updating your privacy settings so your social posts are not made public. Or save your snaps for the post-trip show reel when you get back.

Out of sight, out of mind

Walk around the outside of your home – see anything that could catch a burglar’s eye? Whether it’s a group of bikes tucked down the side of the shed, or a laptop in plain view of the living room window, make sure you store any high value items out of sight. This might require some juggling around, but it’ll be worth the effort.

Check, and check again

The final few minutes before setting off on your holiday are bound to be a little manic, but it’s really important to make time for carrying out some final home checks. Doors and windows shouldn’t just be shut but also locked (this will be required for your insurance), and it’s also a good idea to unplug (or at least switch off) electrical devices at the socket.

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