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Holiday without a care in the world – protect your home against break-ins

Jul 8, 2022.

Summer is for holidays. But it is not just families that are aware of this: burglars are, too – and they can use your absence for their own ends. In this article, you can learn how to protect your home properly against a break-in – and what you can do if you nevertheless return to a nasty surprise. 

Preparation is key – properly protecting your flat or house from break-ins

Your belongings are safest from intruders if you give the impression that you are still at home and the property is not empty. You could try the following to conceal your absence:


Ask your neighbours for help

One of the biggest signs that you are away is a full letterbox. If it is overflowing with letters and newspapers, it is immediately evident that the owners are not at home. And that is a welcome invitation for intruders. So, ask neighbours or friends to empty your letterbox at regular intervals. You can also have letters and parcels held by the post office, so they will keep everything safe and sound while you are away and bring it to your address as soon as you are back.


If your neighbours are emptying your letterbox for you, and potentially also watering your plants, ask them to open and close your shutters or roller blinds from time to time. This similarly hides the fact that you are away from home.


Use automatic timers to turn on your lights and TV

Evening is a particularly popular time for break-ins: a dark house is practically a sure sign that nobody is at home. You can use automatic timers to turn on the lights in your living room and kitchen at dusk, and even put the TV on. This puts intruders off.


Closing the door is often not enough – make it hard for intruders to gain entry

Even if you are away for a short period of time, you need to make sure your doors and windows are locked, including any windows on upper floors. A window left ajar is a welcome invitation for intruders. In addition, you should put any ladders or other items that could help intruders in your garage and make sure it is locked. If possible, you should also lock your garden gate, along with your garage and cellar door.


Install an alarm system, and do not forget to set it. You can also use dummies, but they will not fool every intruder.


Keep your absence a secret – even online

It goes without saying that you are allowed to tell neighbours and friends about your holiday plans – and in fact, it is important that you do tell them! That is because a good few break-ins have been prevented by a neighbour keeping a watchful eye out. However, you should be careful of who you tell that you are going on holiday. Do not post publicly on social media stating when you have gone away, and for how long. You should also avoid putting a note on your letterbox with information for your postman or any visitors. If you have an answerphone, make sure your message does not state that you are away for a lengthy period of time: just say that you are currently unable to come to the phone.


Be prepared for an emergency

Even if you follow all the above tips, you could be unlucky and return from holiday to find your house in disarray. It is important that you limit the potential damage in advance. Cash and valuables should be in a safe or safety deposit box. Important documents should not be left lying around, either, and not just when you are on holiday.


However, not everything fits in a safe. So, protect your belongings against theft with our household contents insurance. If you want to be insured against theft while travelling, you can also choose to include this additional option in your household contents insurance.