Home security: How to keep your property safe when you leave for your summer vacation

Photo by: Burst

Summer is the busiest time for house burglars. They cause not only material but also psychological damage. In order to make things difficult for them, sophisticated technology is here to help – and so are some good neighbors. If you are leaving your house for a long period, you should take proper precautions, do not leave the safety of your property to luck; for that, you should just place some Free Bets online.

Drawers and cupboards have been ransacked. Jewelry, computers, and stereos have disappeared. And where the television was once, loose cables dangle from the wall. Anyone who returns to a broken-in house after the summer vacation from which all valuables and personal items have been stolen is ready for vacation again. And mostly it does not stop at the material damage: Many victims complain that the first shock cannot let go of them, which can even have long-term psychological consequences.

According to a study by the Criminological Research Institute of Lower Saxony, every fifth person affected moves after a break-in in order to finally feel safe at home again. The fear of citizens of falling victim to a break-in is increasing. Rightly so, because the number of break-ins is also increasing. If you want to go on holiday carefree, it would be wise to invest in the security of your home beforehand and to check your insurance coverage.

Patio door and windows are the weakest points

Burglars are particularly popular in the summer: when the vacation planes take off, burglars roam the streets in search of orphaned apartments. The weak points that the burglars exploit are almost identical everywhere: in 80 percent of the cases, they come through the patio door or through a window. And unlike in a television thriller, most of the time no window is broken – after all, the resulting noise would attract too much attention.

Especially since a screwdriver is often enough to pry open older windows. The garage door is often the neuralgic point in houses in which the parking space is integrated into the building: Most electronically controlled gates can be easily overcome – and the connecting door between the garage and the house is often inadequately secured.

Many homeowners have recognized the danger – and are upgrading: Professional locking systems and a motion detector that lets the outside lighting shine brightly with the slightest twitch on the property have long been standard. And sophisticated alarm systems are not too big an investment either: Security technology is more affordable than many people think. 

Professional electronic protection for a single-family home is available from 3000 dollars, including material and professional installation. Many homeowners also install surveillance cameras – these are often connected to the Internet so that you can always see that everything is going well when you are out and about.

Damage is an average of 3300 dollars

Above all, the costs for the technical aids are manageable when you put them in relation to the damage caused by break-ins. The average damage can be around 3300 dollars, and it gets higher every year. This high amount of damage can be explained by the fact that more and more households have high-quality electronic devices such as laptops or tablet computers.

But not everything that is possible in terms of safety technology is also allowed. When installing video surveillance systems in particular, conflicts with neighbors can quickly arise, even if homeowners generally have the right to set up cameras.

The protection of property allows you to monitor your own property and secure it against burglary. This includes the installation of video surveillance as long as it only covers one’s own property and does not infringe the rights of third parties. However, neighbors and passers-by must be safe from observation. A camera must therefore not be movably attached so that it could be pointed at the neighboring property or adjacent areas.

Particularly important protection against burglars, often much more effective than security technology, is an attentive neighbor who regularly checks that everything is in order. He does not have to do much: it is enough to empty the mailbox and perhaps also to pull up the blinds in the morning and then lower them again in the evening. Such little things first signal burglars that someone is present – and so often lead to them keeping their hands off the house.

Check insurance coverage before departure

But even with the most attentive neighbor and sophisticated security technology, a break-in cannot always be prevented. In order to be prepared for an emergency, you should therefore check your insurance coverage before leaving. In this way, at least the material damage can be kept within limits.

The contents insurance covers the damage after a break-in. The prerequisite is that it was verifiably a break-in – so there must be traces of break-in such as a destroyed door lock. If a break-in is discovered, the police must be called immediately. The officials as well as the insurer then need a so-called stolen goods list. It is advisable to describe the stolen things as precisely as possible, for example by specifying device numbers. Proof of purchase should also be available for the insurer.

Consumers should also ensure that their sum insured reflects the value of their household items. If you choose a lower sum in order to lower the premium, you save at the wrong end: In the event of a claim, the insurer only pays proportionally, the household effects are underinsured. This can also happen unintentionally: if high-quality items are added after taking out the policy, the value of the household effects also increases. Therefore, it should be checked regularly whether the sum insured is correct. With many insurers, and underinsurance waiver can also be agreed for an additional charge – so you are prepared for such eventualities.

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