Keeping your holiday home secure

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Keeping your holiday home secure

Sound security measures are essential to keep your holiday home safe while it's empty as well as when it's occupied by guests.

It's also vital to show that preventative measures have been taken should the worst happen and your holiday home gets broken into.

The following checklist will help you make your holiday home secure whilst it's unoccupied as well as when it's filled with happy holidaymakers.

  • Change the locks when you take ownership of your holiday home. Even if the property is brand new, this is still a good idea as there may be copies of your keys floating about. Also consider changing the locks if you switch management companies and cleaners.

  • Check your insurance policy. Some policies require specific types of locks and alarms to be fitted. They may also state a maximum vacancy period, i.e, if your property stands empty for more than 30 days you may not be covered during the excess period - be sure to read the small print.

  • Secure all windows. Make sure they have locks and that the keys are not left in or on the window ledge, or somewhere equally visible.

  • Consider fitting security grilles on the windows. You can easily customise these to make them blend in with your decor. If you want flexibility, then retractable security grilles can be folded out of the way when you have guests in.

  • Don't leave the curtains permanently closed when there is no one staying. Likewise, consider investing in a timer switch to turn the lights on and off throughout the evening.

  • Your neighbours are best placed to keep an eye on your property when it's standing empty. Ask if someone can pop round in the morning and evenings to draw the curtains and make your holiday home look lived in. They'll also notice any problems such as burst pipes.

  • Install security lights. These will alert your neighbours if there's movement around your house when there's not meant to be anyone there. Light will also make your guests feel more at ease if returning home in the dark.

  • Lock away ladders and garden tools that could help someone break in. Lock all sheds and garages, especially if they are attached to your home.

  • Ask your guests to respect any security measures you have in place so that your property is secure at all times. For example, always lock the front and back doors as well as securing windows when they leave the property and at night, and don't leave valuable items in clear view through windows.

  • Fit a safe in your holiday home where guests can leave any valuables and passports, etc. Make sure that it is put out of sight.