Keeping your holiday home safe

Posted: 15th Oct 2015

As holiday homes are typically left unoccupied on a regular basis, it means they are more susceptible to burglary and theft as well as damage caused by maintenance issues that could go unnoticed.

Here are some pointers on what you can do in order to keep your second home safe …

Maintain your property

It is often the little things that go unnoticed which cause major damage to a property, such as a tiny leak in a water pipe causing water damage or blocked gutters damaging the structure of the building and causing damp.

That is why it is so important that you keep your second home just as properly maintained as your main residence.

Tackle small jobs as soon as they become evident and diarise seasonal checks of the property, such as checking the gutters, and looking at the roof for any loose or slipped tiles.

Regularly check the internal workings of your property to make sure there are no leaks or invasion of pests.

As part of your insurance cover you will also be required to have annual GasSafe registered checks of your boiler, so don’t forget to arrange this.

It also makes sense to have regular inspections to check any electrical appliances as well as plug sockets.

While a lot of this may sound common sense, for some people, particularly those whose second home is at the other end of the country, it could be out of sight, out of mind.

Avoid break-ins

As part of your holiday home insurance, typically you will be required to have certain levels of security in place such as:

  • a regularly maintained burglar alarm;
  • 5 Lever Mortice Deadlocks (conforming to British Standard 3621) 
on external doors;
  • key operated bolts to top and bottom opening sections of patio doors in addition to a central locking device;
  • and, key operated security locks to all ground floor and other accessible windows.

While this may sound burglarproof, there are still additional steps you can take, such as moving valuable items out of immediate view of the window, as well as locking away smaller items.

Keep hedges and trees regularly trimmed so that anyone trying to break in to your property can be seen from the street.

You could consider fitting security grills on ground floor windows for when the property is unoccupied. You can get retractable ones for when you have guests at the property.

Install security lights around the exterior of the property. Not only will this deter burglars, but will make any guests returning to the property after dark feel safer.

Know your insurance cover

Finally, make sure you fully understand your obligations under your holiday home insurance. These could typically include informing your insurance provider if the property is going to be unoccupied for more than 30 consecutive days; preventative measures you need to take to avoid burst pipes during the winter; and so on.