A break from home or work shouldn't set the alarm bells ringing

Now that the school holidays are starting you may be looking forward to a nice summer break. Coming home from a relaxing break, whether at home or abroad can be gloomy. However, returning from a memorable journey and learning something has gone seriously wrong at home can be downright devastating.

It’s important to leave the home safe, however briefly it’s left empty. Occupancy is a real deterrent to thieves, so when the home is temporarily unattended, whether that is during a working day or evening or whilst on a short weekend break then:

*Use an internal sensor or timer controlled lights to provide dusk/night time lighting
*Ask someone to take charge of any deliveries (post, milk, newspapers, etc.)
*If you have left bins out for kerbside rubbish collection, ask someone to put it back
*Use a telephone answer phone message that says you are ‘unavailable at the moment', not that you are ‘sorry you are out', or worse still ‘away on holiday'
*Don’t leave a spare key under the doormat or flower pot – an open invitation to a thief

If you are going to be away for a longer period of time, then also:

*Cancel newspapers/milk, or redirect post.
*Don’t leave curtains uncharacteristically closed. Ask someone to visit and close/open your curtains and remove/conceal any deliveries.
*Unplug your television, computer, toaster oven and other appliances to protect them from power surges. Do this to save power as well.
*Think twice about tweeting or putting your holiday plans on Facebook – you never know who might see this.
*Make sure you are aware of any restrictions in your home insurance cover.
*Comply with any policy, requirements, warranties, or conditions e.g. regarding inspections, services and security or notification of unoccupancy.
*If you’re leaving a business unattended make sure your office insurance is up to date and consider security measures.

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