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Keeping Your Home Safe While You’re Away

It’s that time of year when we pack our suitcases and head for the coast, country or a city break. What can you do to prepare your home for your departure.

Check your home insurance and make sure it remains valid while you’re away and that there are no exclusions in the policy’s small print. Some insurance companies limit the number of days the property may be left empty. It is also worth checking with your provider if the insurance is still valid if you leave a house sitter looking after your home.

  • Mow the lawn – an untidy lawn can indicate the property is empty.
  • Close and bolt gates to prevent access to the rear of your home.
  • Draw back the curtains and blinds.
  • Cancel milk or other regular deliveries.
  • Leave a key with a neighbour and ask them to pop in to pick up post and water the plants.
  • Install some timer switches on lamps that will come on in the evening.
  • Where possible don’t leave anything valuable and irreplaceable, especially small items, in your house.
  • Don’t broadcast, other than to friends and family, that you are going away.
  • Don’t post holiday photographs on social media while you’re away.  You can’t be sure who’ll read them and they can affect your home insurance.
  • Unplug all appliances to protect them from power surges and save energy from standby functions.
  • Keep tools under lock and key so they can’t be used to break into your house.
  • Lock your garage and shed with proper security locks.
  • If you have to leave a ladder outside make sure it's security shackled to a permanent fixture with a heavy-duty chain and padlock.
  • If you’re leaving vehicles at home make sure the keys are hidden.

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