Many of us are finally jetting off on much-needed holidays this summer, and new research from Aviva shows that in our excitement we’re making some pretty reckless home security mistakes.
These days, there are of course loads of smart home security devices to help us keep an eye on our homes, from robot cameras to smart lighting. That said, we’d be foolish to get complacent, slipping into bad home security habits ahead of trips abroad.
Bad pre-holiday home security habits
‘Summer 2022 is a fantastic time for holidays,’ says Kelly Whittington, Property Claims Director for Aviva UK (opens in new tab). ‘But we’d urge people not to get so excited that they forget to carry out checks and leave their homes vulnerable while they’re away. ‘A few simple steps can help to deter burglars and keep homes secure – so people aren’t returning to a post-holiday headache.’
1. Leaving a key under a doormat
One in 10 UK residents leaves a key under a doormat or plant pot while they go on holiday. Leave a key with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member but don’t leave it somewhere anyone could find it.
2. Forgetting to lock windows and doors
We were surprised by this one, but according to the research, two-fifths of holidaymakers fail to check their doors and windows are locked before they leave. And here we are triple-checking the hob is definitely off…
3. Leaving valuables visible through windows
Fewer than half (48%) ensure valuables aren’t visible through windows. Shut blinds, move your laptop and any other valuable items away from prying eyes.
4. Not checking garages and sheds are locked
It seems we can be pretty lackadaisical when it comes to our outdoor spaces, too. Just two in five (43%) make sure sheds and garages are secured before heading off on holiday.
5. Not putting away garden furniture
Last of all, a mere fifth (19%) of us put away our best garden furniture when we go away. Granted, some outdoor sofas are too big to be put away, but storing smaller items in a shed or garage can help to prevent opportunistic thefts.
July to September is a prime time for UK home theft claims that happen while people are on holiday. The average value of this type of claim is more than £6,000, so be sure to lock up before you jet off.