April 25, 2010 19:00 ET

Swinton Warns Holidaymakers to Take Extra Home Security Measures This May Bank Holiday

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - April 25, 2010) - Home owners embarking on a 'staycation' or trip abroad this May Bank Holiday, should remember to take all necessary precautions when it comes to home security, warns Swinton, the UK's leading high street home insurance retailer.

With many travellers planning to rush off to their holiday destinations straight after work on the Friday, Swinton is advising home owners to check all doors and windows are closed and locked, and ensure valuables are hidden from view before leaving the house. Opportunistic thieves are constantly on the look-out for high value items such as phones and mp3 players, while car keys are always targeted.

Over half of all burglaries occur when a house is unoccupied according to the Home Office, and Swinton advises homeowners to make their house look lived in while they're away to deter thieves. 

According to research carried out by Swinton home insurance, 38% of homeowners make no attempt to make their house look "lived-in" when they go on holiday and only 12% consider hiring a house-sitter.

However, Swinton's research showed that security-savvy travellers are coming up with new ways to deter trespassers, such as disconnecting your answering machine as to give the impression that you are only temporarily unable to answer and arranging for family members to spend evenings in the house.

Steve Chelton, Insurer Development Manager for Swinton home insurance, said: "With the rise in popularity of last minute holiday bookings, people often leave for the airport in a rush – and this is particularly the case over a Bank Holiday weekend when people are desperate to 'beat the traffic'. It is important to think through security precautions and to take sufficient time when locking windows and hiding valuables, as returning from holiday to find you have been burgled is an upsetting experience.

"There are many simple steps homeowners can take to deter burglars, such as setting light timers and asking a neighbour to collect your post so it doesn't accumulate in your hallway or porch."

About Swinton

  • With over 600 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance.

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