6 tips to avoid break-ins in the summer house

A holiday home out of season is an obvious target for thieves who can drive a car up to the house and empty it without disturbance. Many people's holiday homes eventually contain large valuables in the form of electronics, white goods and expensive furniture, and the thieves thus gain a large profit by breaking into holiday homes.

But there are a number of safety measures you can take to avoid your holiday home becoming a target.

1. Remove spare keys from the garden

Many people hide an extra key somewhere on the grounds of their holiday home, and thieves know this well. In an empty cottage area, thieves have plenty of time to look for the keys – and if they find them, they have free access to your cottage. So the first step is to remove extra keys!

Are you nervous about driving to a holiday home and discovering that you don't have a key with you? So get an electronic lock that can be opened with a code or the phone instead!

2. Set up boom, chain or similar

In a deserted cottage area, a thief can easily manage to empty a house of furniture, appliances and electronics, which can be resold - they drive the car right up to the house and just unload the things. By cordoning off your plot with a boom, chain or locked gate, you make their work harder for them.

3. Show the thief that there is nothing to get

When you leave the cottage, you should remove all valuables and show the thief that there is nothing for them to take. Draw the curtains and open the cupboard doors – this will remove the thief's incentive to break in.

4. Put good locks on tool sheds - and remember to lock them

Your tool shed is also the thief's tool shed: if you leave the shed open, the thief has access to tools that make it easier to break into your holiday home.

Get good, solid locks on all your tool sheds and be sure to lock them when you leave the cottage. The key to this must of course also be locked inside the house or taken home and not hidden on the property.

5. Ensure that doors and windows meet modern safety requirements

In many summer houses, windows and doors are old and therefore do not meet modern safety requirements. This makes them an obvious entrance for the thief.

Review your doors and windows and ensure that the standard of security is in order. Check the locks, fittings and latches on the windows – if they are not in good condition, it may be time to change the windows or have new latches installed.

6. Get an alarm system with a motion-activated camera

An alarm system is one of the most reassuring ways to reduce theft – because you get a message if there is a break-in. This message can also be sent to a control center, so that there is always someone who reacts and can intervene.

If you want extra security, you can also set up motion-activated cameras so you can see who is in your holiday home when the alarm is triggered.

The alarm system scares the thief away from your holiday home. The very signage about the alarm and camera can in many cases be enough to discourage the thief from breaking into your holiday home.

Check whether your insurance covers burglary in the holiday home

In the event that, despite your security measures, your holiday home is broken into, it is a good idea that you have checked that your insurance also covers this.

With some insurance companies, this is an extra benefit that you have to pay for - and of course you should have investigated this before the accident.