As the summer holidays loom, and the wonderful weather inspires many to head away for a weekend break, we’d like to remind homeowners that there are a few, simple, preventive measures that can be put in place to help minimise the risk of being a burglar’s target while they are away:

 - Don’t publicise your holiday on social media or the internet as this lets potential thieves know that your home will be empty - even if your settings are on ‘private’, assume everything you post could potentially be seen by anyone.

  - Ask a friend or neighbour to put away rubbish bins, collect post and pick up junk mail left in your letter box - nothing says ‘We’re away’ like a stuffed letter box! Alternatively, Royal Mail provides a service called Keepsafe that holds letters and parcels for up to 66 days, but does need to be booked in advance.

  - Keep your valuable items, such as a TV or laptop, well away from windows.

  - Use automatic timer switches to turn on lights and a TV or radio at preset or random times.

 - Before you leave, mow the lawn and water the garden. If you are going to be away for more than a few days, it is also worth asking a neighbour or friend to pop over and keep the garden refreshed.

 - Make sure any outside tools are locked up along with ladders, and ensure your garage and shed are fitted with proper locks: Burglars could use your tools to break into your home.

 -  Check with your insurance broker to make sure your contents and building insurance policies are up to date and that you have sufficient cover, especially if you will be away for an extended period of time.

  - Having security measures such as outside lighting and a visible burglar alarm, especially if linked to the police, are good burglar deterrents - and also could help reduce your household insurance policy premium.

  - Perform a final safety inspection before leaving for your holiday by walking around your home to double-check that everything is safe and burglar-proof, remembering in particular to lock every window and door.

The police also recommend registering your home, including the contents inside, on Immobilise, the United Kingdom’s national property register. This free online service helps police reconnect owners with recovered stolen items and helps simplify insurance claims when items go missing.

Duncan Sutcliffe, director, Sutcliffe & Co , added: “As a home owner, it is your responsibility to make sure you understand and comply with minimum requirements for your insurance policy to be valid. If you need advice about your household insurance and the level of cover, then please do get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any queries you may have.”

For more information on any of our news articles, please contact:

Duncan Sutcliffe

01905 21681

[email protected]

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