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Keeping home safe while travelling

Who doesn’t love a holiday? Unfortunately, burglars can be fans of your travel plans as well. And while there are no guarantees you won’t be targeted, these tips can help keep your place safe and secure while you’re away.

Ask a friend or neighbour to keep a look out

There’s nothing like a pair of eyes on the ground. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your place and empty the letterbox while you’re away - perhaps even water the garden and park their car in your driveway every now and then to give your place a ‘lived in’ look (you can return the favour when they go away).

Make sure your letterbox is empty

Try to stop as much mail as you can (opting for electronic bank statements is a good start and can also help protect you from identity fraud). Put a hold on any newspaper or magazine subscriptions and slap a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on your letterbox. If you can, get a friend to collect your mail while you’re away.

Check you’ve got the right locks on all your doors and windows

This is one to think about well before you leave – make sure all your doors and windows have good quality locks on them, in particular deadlocks on doors. You should also have them installed by a locksmith.

Do a last-minute security check

Before rushing out the door, do a check around the house of all windows and doors and double-check they’re all locked. The same goes for garages and sheds as well.

Getting the lighting right

You don’t want to leave your home blazing like a lighthouse the entire time you’re away – that’s a sure-fire way to attract unwanted attention. But you can set a few lamps on timers to come on in the early evening and switch off later to make it look like someone’s home. Installing exterior motion sensor lights is also a great way of stopping burglars in their tracks.

Lock up garages and put outdoor furniture away

Don’t make it easy for burglars! Make sure you’ve locked up all ladders, tools and even garden furniture in your garage or shed – burglars often use these to break in to homes. You should also maintain your garden and cut back trees or bushes close to your home to eliminate hiding places.

Less is more on social media

It’s natural to want to let your friends know that you’re having an amazing time, but friends might not be the only ones you’re letting know. Be wary of who can see your posts, as it can be an advertisement that you’re leaving your home unattended. You can always upload your pics when you get back...

Check your insurance is up-to-date

If you’re heading away, take a moment to check you’ve got insurance cover that’s right for you. If you’ve made any big ticket purchases since you purchased your policy, it might be worthwhile reviewing your cover before you go away.

Keep an inventory of what you own

It’s also a good idea to keep an inventory of what you own. An easy way to do this is to go from room to room and listing your possessions. If any items have serial numbers, keep a note of these along with any receipts.

Once you’ve completed your inventory, keep it in a few different locations such as on a memory stick, your computer and cloud software.

Things you should know

View the Home and Contents Insurance Key Fact Sheets.

Home and Contents Insurance is issued by Westpac General Insurance Limited ABN 99 003 719 319 (except workers compensation cover where applicable). Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 distributes the insurance, but does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. Read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDF 11MB) to see if this insurance is right for you.