Protect your empty house this summer 

While you may be looking forward to the summer and the warmer weather that usually comes with it, have you thought about the heightened risks to your home and its security if left unattended?

Why more break-ins occur during the summer months

One of the reasons that break-ins and burglaries peak in the summer months, could be the longer daylight hours encouraging homeowners and tenants to spend more time away from their homes. Whether you are spending more time in the local beer gardens or watching outdoor sporting or music events, leaving an unoccupied home can be an open invitation for those looking for an easy target.

Many people take their main holiday in summer, leaving a vacant property for a longer period than usual, making it easy for an opportunist to take advantage and for theft to occur.

Another reason could be that people are more likely to leave doors open to air the house out or leave doors unlocked and become distracted and forget to close and lock-up before going out to socialise or going to bed.

What steps can you take to secure your empty property?

While not all break-ins can be prevented, many can and there are steps you can take to minimise the risks. Here’s some of our tip tips to ensure you stay protected this summer:
  • Keep all windows and doors locked

    Make sure all doors and windows are locked wherever you go. This may sound obvious, but this is the time of year when you are likely to have windows open and it only takes one forgotten open window for someone to find their way inside. It may be tempting not to bother if you think you will be gone for less than a few minutes, but ask yourself, is it worth the risk?

  • Consider having an alarm installed

    The next steps are to consider installing an alarm system if you haven’t already.  Always activate it when leaving the property and ensure you do not leave any valuables on show. It can be as tempting as having cakes on a display in a bakery especially If you live somewhere heavily populated, such as by the side of the main road or a public footpath.

  • Ask neighbours to check in

    It’s nice to have someone you trust to check your property regularly; to put mail in a safe place and to generally display signs of someone in the house; opening and closing curtains, switching lights on/off and checking for visible signs of damage which might otherwise alert people to an empty house.

  • Evaluate how sturdy your access points are

    Consider how easy it might be for an intruder to break into your home. Are your doors sturdy enough or would a different material such as steel doors be a better option? These are also often tamper-proof, effectively keeping burglars out of your home. This is a great option if you’re planning on being away from home for an extended length of time.

  • Do you know your visitors?

Never let people you don’t know inside your home. Opportunists might try to lie their way into your property to determine the best access points or to create one when your back is turned. Never allow someone inside if you were not expecting them and always ask for I.D. Check their identification as thoroughly as you need to. If they’re genuine, they will understand.

Why to consider Unoccupied property insurance 

To ease the worry of leaving your home vacant during the summer months; unoccupied property insurance is something you could consider investing in.  If a property you are responsible for is left unoccupied for more than 30 days, whether it’s a gap in tenancy, being renovated, going through the conveyancing process, or if you’re taking that summer holiday of a lifetime, it’s likely that cover may be restricted under a standard home insurance policy.

At Guardcover, we offer protection against the worst-case scenario of someone finding a way inside your home and causing damage or committing theft. To find out more about Guardcover Unoccupied property insurance click here.

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