“An Englishman’s home is his castle” is an archaic expression which dates back to the middle of the 17th century; but you definitely don’t need to be a man or English to place great value in your home. Your home is where you protect your passions and plan life’s adventures, so you’ll want to ensure that it is looked after when you’re not around. Summer generally means a summer holiday and, in all the planning, it can be easy to forget about what might happen to your house while you’re away. Whether you own or rent, returning to a break-in or unexpected household disaster can be upsetting and expensive. That’s why we’ve put together our Emporium guide to looking after your house when you go on holiday.

Keep the home fires burning

Unwanted visitors are likely to see apparent evidence of someone at home as a deterrent and there are a number of ways how you can create this illusion. Invest in a light timer switch that you can set to come on at a time when you would usually be at home. Make sure that you don’t shut curtains or blinds, as they will stay like that for the duration of your holiday; a sure-sign of an absentee homeowner. Cancel any deliveries of milk or newspapers and you can get Royal Mail to hold any post, for up to 66 days, until your return. They might seem trivial, but all of these little things could be the difference between protecting your passions or returning to a ransacked house.

Sound the alarm

According the ABI Property Premium Tracker, the average value for possessions in a home is a whopping £45,000, so you could find yourself seriously out of pocket should thieves manage to break-in. A high-spec and well-maintained alarm system could reduce the likelihood of you becoming the victim of burglary. There are a variety of different systems, ranging from bells-only alarms to approved (NACOSS, NSI or SSAIB) and maintained systems with 24-hour telephone support. Most home insurance policies will ask you for what type of burglar alarm system you have fitted in your house when you’re filling in a quote and, depending on how advanced it is, it could reduce the amount of your premium.

Don’t be dozy with your windows

In the good old days, this simply used to be a case of making sure you didn’t leave your windows open. Your doors and windows are one of the main points of entry for any potential housebreakers, either through forcing the lock or by simply smashing the glass. Alongside your burglar system, having the right locks in place can be one of the main ways of dissuading burglars. Key-operated locks for your windows and five-lever mortice deadlocks for your doors are the highest level of security available for your home. The initial outlay on having these fitted would be more than enough compensation, if you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a break-in. Also, just like your alarm, having the right standard of locks could reduce your insurance premium.

Organise a sit-in

No, we’re not talking about the 1970s protest movement! Enlisting the help of a house-sitter is an ideal way of looking after your home while you enjoy your adventure. Many people ask friends, family or neighbours to watch over their house and property when they’re away. Often, this may be tied in with feeding and caring for any household pets. It has become such a normal occurrence now, that people who aren’t in the position to ask a favour will employ the services of professional house-sitters, who advertise freely (in a regulated manner) on sites like Gumtree, Facebook and dedicated new app and website Nextdoor. Costs vary depending on the service but having a house-sitter can be an invaluable way of avoiding fires, break-ins and anything else untoward.

Keep your garden in check

A neat and tidy garden will be appreciated by your neighbours and any passers-by, but tending to it also has another important dual-purpose when you’re heading on holiday. Giving the outside area of your house a once-over before you go away will make your house look lived-in and hopefully deter any attempts at burglary. If you’re away for longer, it won’t cost much to employ the services of a professional gardener, which will help to serve the same purpose. A neat and tidy garden isn’t just designed to put off burglars either, a build-up of branches or leaves might block drains and gutters and you could run the risk of causing serious damage to your property while you’re on holiday. Nobody wants to return home to sewage water in the living room!

No matter what measures you put in place, there is always a chance disaster might visit your house while you’re enjoying your holiday adventures. Which is why home insurance could be a useful investment to help get you back on your feet should the worst occur. At The Insurance Emporium, we offer 3 different types of home insurance with a UK-based call centre and a 24-hour claims line. Stop by the Emporium today and find out how you can get your castle feeling magical again!

The Insurance Emporium home insurance is administered and arranged by Insurance Factory Limited. Insurance Factory Limited are an insurance intermediary and not an insurer.

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