Direct Line magazine

Securing your home while you’re away

Updated on: 4 May 2021

A smart security camera is controlled by a smartphone app.

Your home is especially vulnerable to thieves when you're away. However, there are some measures you can take to help give you peace of mind, including improving home security and taking out home insurance in case anything should happen.

Everyday security

Some home insurance policies may require that your house adheres to certain levels of security, such as adequate locks on doors and windows.

Some other basic security tips include:

  • Locking all doors and windows whenever you leave your home.

  • Installing a burglar alarm and setting it whenever you go out.

  • Installing security lighting that triggers when someone comes near the house.

  • Leaving lights on in a hallway or landing to look like someone is in.

  • Keeping tools like ladders locked up to avoid helping thieves break in.

  • Keeping valuables such as computers and TVs out of sight through windows.

Extra precautions while away

There are also extra measures you can take whenever you're away from your home for a prolonged length of time, such as on holiday.

These include:

  • Installing timer switches to lights so they come on at the same time each night.

  • Installing timer switches to a radio to make it appear that someone is in.

  • Making sure window locks are up to scratch, and closing curtains so that thieves can’t see inside the house.

  • Cancelling regular deliveries such as milk or newspapers so that it doesn’t pile up on your doorstep.

  • Arranging for your mail to be delivered later or even directed to your holiday destination.

  • Cutting the lawn so it appears as if someone is still there.

  • Avoiding writing your name and address on visible luggage labels.

  • Getting a neighbour or friend to watch your home while you are away.

  • Arranging for a neighbour to park a car in the driveway.

Staying insured

Should someone break into your home while you're away, you can get some peace of mind by having home insurance. Buildings insurance covers the structure of your home – including outbuildings and permanent fittings – against damage by incidents such as fire, flood or theft. Contents insurance protects the items inside your home – including carpets, furniture and electrical goods – in case of similar incidents.

Before going away, it's well worth reminding yourself of the terms and conditions of your policy. For example, some exclusions might apply if the property has been unoccupied for 60 consecutive days - so it's worth checking with your insurer if you plan to leave the house for a long period of time. 

And if you're going away for a long trip, don't forget to look into getting travel insurance

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