11 Jul 2018 M&S Bank is urging holidaymakers to take steps to protect their homes against opportunistic thieves before heading off on holiday this summer, as research* shows that nearly a third have had their current home broken into, with 15 per cent having been burgled more than once.
The M&S Bank research revealed that of those Brits planning a holiday in 2018, more than half are planning to go away for a week or more, while 29 per cent have plans to go away for a fortnight or more.
Paul Stokes, Head of Products at M&S Bank said: “With the peak holiday period approaching, our research shows that the average holidaymaker is planning to go away for 10 days, meaning many Brits could be leaving their homes unoccupied for extended periods over the summer months.
“While many of us look forward to the summer holiday period, and rightly so, unfortunately so do opportunistic thieves. That’s why it’s important to ensure that securing the home by taking certain security precautions, such as moving expensive or desirable items out of sight and away from windows, becomes a routine part of every household’s holiday preparations, just as buying holiday money or that new swimsuit is.”
Of those who had previously been burgled, seven per cent said that the thief smashed a window and six per cent said access gained to their home was by breaking a door lock. But four per cent admitted to accidentally leaving a door unlocked and three per cent a window unlocked.
Positively, more than two in five Brits currently have an alarm system (43 per cent) and 46 per cent having security lighting in place. These security features protect the home and act as a deterrent, yet nearly a third (32 per cent) of Brits have neither or don’t know if they have these security measures in place.
It’s important for holidaymakers to take a little time to prepare their home by taking some simple security precautions before they depart. The most popular security measure taken before going on holiday is asking a neighbour, friend or family member to keep an eye on the property (61 per cent), followed by locking the shed or outbuilding (50 per cent) and ensuring any objects in the garden, such as a lawn mower or BBQ, are securely locked away (45per cent). Nearly one in ten won’t, or don’t know if they will, take any security precautions for their home before going away (9 per cent).
Top tips to help secure your home this summer:
- Inform a trusted neighbour, friend or family member that you’re going away – ask them to keep an eye on your property
- Ensure windows are locked but keep curtains and blinds open – so it’s not evident that the home is unoccupied
- Don’t leave expensive items in view – keep laptops and other desirable goods out of direct sight
- Be cautious about who you tell – don’t broadcast the fact that you’re away, especially when using social media
- Lock your shed / outbuildings – ensure expensive items, such as garden furniture, tools and BBQs are securely locked away
- Install a reliable alarm system – security lighting can also be used to deter unwanted visitors.