After the long, dark winter days many of us are planning a sunshine getaway for the summer or even just a relaxing UK break to recharge our batteries. But leaving our homes and valuables unattended for any length of time can be a cause for concern – nobody wants to come home to find they’ve been burgled.
Yet home burglary does happen far too often, and of course there are steps you can take to try and prevent this worst case scenario. Naturally, ensure that all windows and doors are locked, including garage and shed doors. Set your burglar alarm, if you have one, and remember to cancel any milk and paper deliveries. Another great deterrent is lights –if you’re going away it’s worth buying a few timer plugs to switch lights on and off in your house, giving the impression that your home is occupied.
Property marking is another good idea – marking or etching your postcode and house number on valuable items is a good deterrent as burglars know these items can be more easily traced by the police and it makes it harder for thieves to sell your belongings on.
But what if the worst happens and you return to discover you’ve been burgled? It’s a horrible shock, but you’ll need to act immediately. The first thing is DON’T touch anything. Call the police straight away and take pictures, without disturbing the scene. In fact, it’s a good idea to have taken pictures of your belongings before you go away, just to ‘prove’ that you did own them. Wait for the police to arrive before you try to move anything, but try to note down the items that have been taken.
Next, call your insurance company. They’ll require an initial list of stolen items, and they’ll probably arrange for a Loss Adjuster to come to your home. So if you can provide as much proof as possible of what’s been taken – such as photographs and receipts – that should help to speed up your insurance claim process.
Another thing to think about if you’re going away and want to protect your valuables is self-storage. You can rent a Fortbox self-storage unit from as little as one week, and it’s a great way to give you peace of mind. Our smallest units are perfect for you to store valuable items whilst you’re away, and you could also include essential documents such as your insurance and car documents, receipts for ‘big ticket’ items as well as any paperwork containing details that thieves could use for Identity Fraud. That way, if thieves do break into your home, your most treasured possessions will be safe and secure until you’re ready to collect them. Take a look at our London self-storage facilities to see how convenient and affordable it is to ensure that your valuables are safe whilst you’re away.