Making your home holiday-safe: the checklist that gives you peace of mind | AXA Luxembourg
AXA Assurances Luxembourg

Making your home holiday-safe: the checklist that gives you peace of mind

Sun hat, mosquito repellent and all that reading to catch up on. Check. Your suitcase is almost packed. You’re counting the days before heading off on your holidays. However, the excitement is tinged with a little apprehension: have you really thought of everything? As you know, leaving your home empty for several weeks can make you a target for burglars. Here are a few simple tips to avoid nasty surprises when you get back.

Making your home holiday-safe: the checklist that gives you peace of mind

Sun hat, mosquito repellent and all that reading to catch up on. Check. Your suitcase is almost packed. You’re counting the days before heading off on your holidays. However, the excitement is tinged with a little apprehension: have you really thought of everything? As you know, leaving your home empty for several weeks can make you a target for burglars. Here are a few simple tips to avoid nasty surprises when you get back.

Burglaries in Luxembourg

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According to its May 2019 activity report, the Luxembourg police force recorded 3,667 burglaries in 2018. That’s 5% more than the previous year.

The police point out that this is a cyclical phenomenon. Organised gangs from other European countries go on a burglary spree for a few years before being dismantled. Investigators are focusing mainly on burglaries committed by breaking and entering - by smashing a window or forcing a door -, by climbing up the building to gain entry through an open window or by using false keys.

Money, jewellery, multimedia, hi-fi or computer equipment are what burglars usually snap up. Finally, most of these thefts take place in the afternoon, without arousing suspicion, since the intruders only stay around for about twenty minutes.

So, how should you protect your home before you leave?

1. Check your door

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The door is the preferred point of entry for burglars, used in almost 80% of cases. It’s true that it doesn’t take much time or effort to force open a door with a crowbar when it’s not reinforced.

That’s why it’s advisable to invest in an armoured door to ramp up your security. Or alternatively, invest in a multipoint locking device. Don't forget to check that all doors and windows are properly closed. Because, without a break-in, it becomes tricky to claim under the theft guarantee and get compensation for stolen or damaged goods.

2. Don’t forget the garden

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Take care to store all your garden tools, bicycles and children's games so as not to attract the attention of thieves. Another tip: keep your garden well-maintained so that it doesn’t betray the fact that you’ve been gone a while. Also remember to secure your garden shed, which can house expensive equipment.

3. Keep the decks clean in the house

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Do you own any valuable jewellery? The last thing you should do is keep them nice and safe in a jewellery box that gives the game away. It’s also useless to try to deceive thieves by hiding your jewellery in your clothes. The technique is a bit stale. To keep your valuables safe, go for a home safe, provided it is perfectly embedded in the wall. Otherwise, your best option is a safety deposit box at the bank.

4. Be discreet

Avoid boasting about your upcoming break on the social networks, at the office or at the bakery. Even if told in confidence, information can travel faster than you think and reach the ears of an ill-intentioned person.

5. Set up a neighbourhood watch scheme

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Inform your neighbours so that they watch out for any comings and goings around your house. If in doubt about the presence of intruders, ask them to note down vehicle licence plates or call the police.

6. Create signs of life in your home

Ask your family and friends to pick up the mail, open the shutters from time to time, preferably at different times of the day, to give the impression of a presence.

There’s no one to do this for you? Home automation systems can be used to create signs of life in your home. From your telephone, the installation allows you to switch on the TV or open the shutters, wherever you are.

7. Alarm system

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Finally, fitting an alarm system is the ultimate and radically effective solution to deter thieves. The surveillance system detects and signals any intrusion, making the burglars leg it from the scene.

Also remember to check annually with your insurer the value of the property covered by your home insurance. Up-to-date home insurance gives you peace of mind about the compensation you can claim in the event of a burglary.