Thursday, March 13, 2014

Are you planning to get out of town for the Easter holidays? If you are taking a break, even a short one, there are certain important things you need to do before you leave.

Recent research from e.on revealed that almost one in 10 UK holidaymakers had left a loved-one at home in their rush to catch a flight! A further 17% had have left behind important travel documents and almost one-in-five have forgotten their luggage before going on their trip!

“The stress leading up to a holiday can cause you to be absent-minded in the hustle and bustle,” warns John October, spokesperson for Dial Direct.

“This forgetfulness could even result in your home being burgled. According to the latest crime reports in South Africa, residential suburbs are still the target of criminals, particularly regarding car-jackings and house robberies. In fact, burglary from residential premises increases during the holiday season. The e.on research also revealed that more than 13% of people forgot to properly secure their homes before they went on holiday, leaving them vulnerable to thieves.

“Many people go away for holidays like Easter without thinking about how they should safegaurd their homes against robbery while they are gone,” says October. Criminals know when houses are usually empty and may target homes that they have been watching and waiting to see when the residents leave. Avoid making your home an easy target,” advises October.

Here are tips from Dial Direct Insurance on what to do before you leave:

  • Empty your freezer. There’s nothing worse than coming back from holiday to find your fridge smelling and full of rotten food.
  • Mow your lawn. Overgrown grass on your pavement is a sure sign to any would-be robbers that you’re not there.
  • Get someone to collect your post. Once again, an overflowing post box is a sure sign that nobody is home and an open invitation for criminal activity on your premises
  • Turn off your geyser and any other plugs that do not need to be on while you are not there. This will save you money and is more eco-friendly.
  • Make sure that someone close by like a neighbour has your contact details in case they need to get hold of you in an emergency.
  • Alert your security company that you will be away so that they know to check your house is secure more often than usual.
  • Lock all doors and potential entry points and turn your alarm system on. .
  • Do not leave jewellery, gadgets and other valuables lying around. This includes laptops, phones, passports and spare keys.
  • Check you have your purse as well as all the documents, vouchers and reservation numbers you might need for your holiday.
  • Make sure that your Home Contents Insurance is up to date. Remember that if you were to suffer a break-in while you were on holiday and you had not secured your home properly, your insurance could be deemed invalid – so taking the time to do this really is important.

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