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Holiday security tips

24 November 2016

When our insurance experts go on holiday they make sure their homes are secure and safe. We’ve put together some of their best tips to help you have a relaxing break, so you needn’t worry about what’s going on at home.

  1. Lock up and leave – locks on your doors and windows only work if you use them. While burglars may be able to get into a house with deadbolt locks, they’ll find it harder to leave with all your stuff, and will want to get out of there pretty quickly especially if the alarm is sounding. So, remember to set your alarm too.

  2. It’s a great idea to lock away your valuables, as well as having someone to stay, who you know and trust, and who can help with more than just security - a great way to keep your home and its contents safe is to ask someone to housesit. There’s nothing better than a car in the driveway, lights on at night, and someone to collect your mail to deter a potential burglar. The added bonus is that a sitter is able to feed and look after your pets, and plants, too.

  3. No housesitter? If you’re unable to, or would rather not have someone stay in your house, then ask a neighbour or friend to collect your mail, mow the lawn, put some washing on the line, take out and retrieve your recycling bin, park in your driveway, and open and close the curtains - or at least some of these. Alternatively, have NZ Post hold your mail, put a no junk sticker on the letterbox, hire someone to regularly mow the lawns, leave shoes at the front door and washing on the line, and install timers on your lights so the house looks occupied in the evenings.

    You should also turn the ring volume down on your landline phone so it can’t be heard ringing and unanswered, and don’t leave a dish cloth on the bench; it dries out and tells a potential thief the house has been empty for a while.

  4. Electrics and water – it’s a good idea to turn off unnecessary electrical appliances, and also water off at the mains and the hot water cylinder. Not only could it save you from disaster if there’s a power surge, or a leak, plus you’ll also save pennies from not having to pay for the cylinder to heat unnecessarily. Be careful not to turn off appliances like the fridge or freezer though.

  5. Remove valuables from accessible pockets – you may be travelling far from home, or only two blocks away, but it pays to remove valuables, like your wallet, laptop or mobile phone from the front pocket of your back pack. Instead keep them where you have most control over them, such as a front or side pocket of your clothing, or the large internal pocket of your pack, so they’re harder for thieves to see, as well as access.

  6. Before you leave, make sure you’ve checked your home and contents insurance so if something unexpected happens, like damage caused by wild weather, you’re covered.  It’s also a good reminder that if you’re heading abroad, you might need to take out travel insurance because your contents insurance might not cover your belongings overseas.

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