When the holidaymaker is away the thieves will play!

As we enter the traditional peak holiday season throughout Europe and people leave their work en-mass for the popular beach resorts across the Mediterranean and beyond, the thieves come out in force to prey on the innocents possessions, with no-one there to protect them.

This year we expect the trend of burglaries to notably rise across Europe, especially in peak season and under the climate of a deep recession. Imagine coming home to discover that your front or back door has been kicked in or side window smashed open and your first view upon return is to see what is left of your possessions scattered across the floor of your house or apartment.

Counting the cost of possessions is only part of the nightmare that will follow, as dealing with the insurers if any, will always be a challenge as they desperately seek loopholes not to pay you. The emotional cost and feeling of insecurity will likely set in also, causing potentially months of torment.
To ensure that this is not your reality, it's important to take the matter seriously and adopt a prevention is better than an insurance cure approach, as summer is always a prime time for thieves without morals to make their move and cash in on your absence.
Here below is the Perpetual Traveller Guide to your vacation security, which will empower you to outsmart the thieves and rest at ease on vacation.

  • Think like a thief. Put yourself in their shoes and take a long hard look at your property.
  • Imagine approaching your property the way a thief would. 
  • Look for weaknesses in your security in an objective way. 
  • Adopt method acting tactics as you walk around your property.
  • Remember that thieves always follow the path of least resistance, meaning they opt for the easy target.
  • Ensure that your property is not an easy target, but rectifying the weaknesses.
  • Follow the helpful Top Tips below to support your increased home security plan.  
  • What kind of insurance do you have?
  • According to research in the insurance conscious UK 1 out of every 4 households does not have home contents in¬surance.
  • This means that if your possessions are stolen or ruined because of a burglary, you have no way of recouping the loss.
  • You need to be informed about your insur¬ance policy though and read that boring hard to see fine print. 
  • If know what is and is not covered it will help you act ac¬cordingly and take the right precautions. 
  • Beware, as Insurance companies love loopholes that can get them out of paving up. 
  • To illustrate, if a burglar slips in through an open window, or uses a ladder that you left lying around in the garden to break into your house, you are automatically not covered?

  • With more and more hous¬es boasting security alarms these days, thieves are now ceasing the opportunity to raid garden sheds, garages and greenhouses for some quick cash. 
  • The humble shed may not seem that appealing to you, but ordinarily it is complete with several expensive DIY and pow¬er tools that are easily pocket¬ed in car boot sales or on the black market to pocket quick cash. 
  • Most sheds are secured by a rusty or weak padlock, which takes a couple of screws if that to open.
  • Check that your garden’s outbuildings are covered by your home insurance policy.
  • Think about investing in some floodlights along with a mains or battery-operated alarm.
  • Remember that thieves might steal garden equipment, but they can also use it to break into your house. 
  • Do not to leave anything lying around that could be used to get in, as your insurance may not cover you.

  1. Keep your windows and doors locked: This sounds blatantly obvious and rather bizarre, however a recent UK poll found that as much as 29% of all Bur¬glaries in 2008 were entirely unforced, meaning that thieves entered houses and apartments through open windows or unlocked doors. 
  2. Hide your valuables: Of course remember where you put them. Some secret places are so good, that ones forgets where they are and then finding them can be a challenge.
  3. Assess your public profile: For example, do you really need to keep your Computer or Smart phone right by the window, in plain view from the street? Be warned that some in¬surance companies do not pay on claims whereby certain valuables, such as jewels, are not stored in a suitably secure loca¬tion within your home.
  4. Photograph your valuables: This may appear an odd thing to do, however if you get burgled, photos provide a record and evidence of what's missing when you make a claim. Police can also use the photos to identify your possessions if the thief is by some miracle caught.
  5. Purchase a burglar alarm: An alarm is every thief's worst enemy, so be sure to set it every time you leave the house or go to bed. Hav¬ing it tested every three months will keep it in good work¬ing order, too.
  6. Invest in a home security system: If this is a too bitter financial pill, augment your existing Burglar alarm with a digital security system. Cameras record any movement in your home and can send the data straight to your mobile phone.
  7. Install motion-detector lights: The brighter the better! Opportunist Burglars in particular loath be¬ing exposed. To increase the security level, mount them high up on the wall to illuminate a wider area.
  8. Apply anti-climb paint: Have You ever tried to climb a wall covered in anti-climb paint? Well its nigh impossible and this is a slick idea. If it is too much, a simple thorny trel¬lis beneath your windows provide a reasonable deterrent to the light part time thief.
  9. Shower securely: Steamy windows tell all would be intruders that you are upstairs bathing and subsequently too busy to stop a break-in. Always lock all windows and doors before jumping in the shower.
  10. Fit a timer switch: Noise, lights and drawn curtains are less attractive to a potential intruder than an obviously vacant home. In the event you are away on vacation, timers can be attached to lights, radios and televisions to give the impression that someone is actually at home. The are some switches that provide up to 6 on & off settings a day, complemented with random settings to erase all measures of pre¬dictability. At the very least it can prove to be sufficient to make any potential burglar think twice.
  11. Do not hide spare keys: It is common knowledge amongst all Burglars professional or otherwise to instinctively know where all those 'under the door¬mat' tactics are to hiding keys. Always leave your keys with a trusted friend or neighbor instead. If a Burglar can get in without force, this is his ideal case scenario and moreover your insurance policy will usually void your claim too. Don't be gone for too long
  12. Plan a stay: If you're planning a vacation, arrange for some¬one to stay over at least once, especially if you are gone for up to a month. Ask them first to clear out your moun¬tains of mail, which is the classic “green light” of thieves. Then to keep your plants watered and to look out for any suspicious activity in the area.
So there you have it, the Perpetual Traveller Guide to maintaining a safe home whilst you are on vacation. We trust that you find this useful.

Have a peace of mind vacation!
Grant Holmes