800,000 households fall victim to holiday robbery

This trend towards more summer burglaries may be partially explained by the fact that many householders do not take basic preventive measures before going away.

Simple actions that are not taken include asking a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on the property when the householder is away (35% do not do this), while 45% do not leave any contact details for use in case of emergency.

Furthermore, 45% do not ask anyone to come in and clear the post while only 35% set their lights to a timer switch to create the impression that someone is in. Perhaps less surprisingly, most householders do not lock their valuables away in a safe when they go on holiday (83%).

Andrew Lowe, Head of Home Insurance at Direct Line, said: "Our research shows that a large number of UK householders have experienced burglary while they have been away on holiday.

"Burglars can pick up on various clues to establish whether a house is likely to be unoccupied, ranging from an unruly front lawn to newspaper deliveries or post clogging the letter box area, or even by overhearing people discussing their upcoming holidays in public places.

"Householders can do several things to minimise the risks of being burgled when they are away from the home. They should cancel any deliveries they may be expecting, and ask a neighbour to keep an eye on the property. Finally they need to ensure that the home is generally well secured, using adequate locks and alarms."

Direct Line’s holiday security tips:

* Make sure you have locked all the doors and windows to your property;
* Activate your burglar alarm;
* If you are expecting any house-sitters, give them your house key – don’t leave a key hidden on your property for them, as burglars know to look in the usual hiding spots;
* Lock away ladders and tools which could be used by burglars to break into the property;
* Lock up side gates, garages and sheds;
* Do not discuss your holiday dates in public places such as the pub or on the bus, as you could be overhead by an opportunistic thief.

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