In a recent article in the Mirror, North Wales Police warned of the dangers of posting holiday snaps on social media.
According to a large insurance company, 36 percent of social media users have mentioned future holidays, and 40 per cent of Facebook users, tag their location whilst abroad.
Not only does it alert the criminal element to the fact that your house is empty, but your insurance company may not be too happy either if you make a claim, when, on your return, you discover you have been burgled.
This comes under the label of “reasonable care”, and it is just possible that your insurance company may take it as proof you were not being careful enough to protect your home. In the USA, it is becoming more common for the insurer to ‘void ‘ the insurance policy, and you would not want that to happen to you!
Burglars like to use the six week summer break to cash in on families who are away, and a group of ex-offenders were surveyed to ask their advice as to where people should hide – or definitely NOT hide, items of value! Burglars are known to spend up to two months watching a house before burgling it, but spend as little as five minutes inside before fleeing. It is well known that they tend also to go for small valuable items – jewellery, electronics, cash.
Children’s bedrooms and playrooms were on the whole, considered ‘no go’ areas. Therefore “something of high value could be hidden in a toy or toy box”. Keys could be hidden in the food cupboards, rather than in a more obvious ‘bits and bobs’ drawer. Other good hiding places for small valuable items are cereal boxes or boxes of pasta, DVD boxes
Identity documents are very valuable, due to identity theft for fraud and people trafficking, and should always be kept in a secure place.
OTHER POINTS TO CHECK BEFORE YOU GO AWAY.
- Ask a neighbour to keep an eye on your property, and to move your post out of sight.
- Do not close blinds or curtains but remove any valuable item from view of windows, especially downstairs,
- Lock doors and windows, set alarm, if you have one. If you are going to be away for a long time, it might be worth setting up an alarm system: if you have a lot of valuable items, your insurance company may well insist on this.
- Time switches are better than leaving a light on, otherwise leave a hall light on
- When labelling your luggage, do not put your landline phone number or address on it
- Be careful about your conversation on the way to the airport, and do not advertise your departure on your voicemail message or out-of-office email
Check your insurance policy to confirm what you are covered for – especially if you are away for more than 60 days
And enjoy your holiday!