Burglaries During the Holidays: How to Protect Yourself Easily and Effectively

July 3, 2020
  1. Will the risk increase after the lockdown?
  2. The path of least resistance
  3. Lock doors and close windows
  4. Ask your neighbours for support
  5. Pretend to be present
  6. Who covers the financial damage?
  7. Check your security potential

Although the number of burglaries in Switzerland has decreased compared to the previous year, according to the Federal Statistical Office, a flat or house is still broken into every 15 minutes on average. Break-ins are more frequent during the holiday season. How can you protect your property - and what can you do if you still become the victim of a burglary?

Will the risk increase after the lockdown?

Burglars always take the path of least resistance. They break in when no one is home and prefer to avoid confrontations with residents or neighbours. That is why the last few months have been a difficult time for burglars: because many people were working or staying at home because of Covid-19, the number of burglaries temporarily decreased. That is why it is likely that many burglars want to make up for their "loss of income" during the summer holidays and thus the risk of burglaries in houses or flats increases again.

The path of least resistance

Very few burglars are particularly risk averse. They want to break in unnoticed and disappear again quickly. That's why they choose targets that are not or insufficiently secured. For example, if the windows and doors are well secured, they give up quickly and prefer to disappear without loot rather than be caught. They usually only have simple tools such as chisels or screwdrivers with them and cannot even pick a security lock, for example. Burglars want to remain inconspicuous and do not walk-through neighbourhoods with a toolbox.

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Lock doors and close windows

The easiest way to protect yourself is to always lock all doors with the key. Even if you only leave the house or flat for a short time. Never leave a key next to the front door or flat door, for example under the doormat or under a plant pot. Also lock balcony and terrace doors as well as windows. With windows, make sure to close them properly instead of just tilting them. A clever burglar can open a tilted window with a little dexterity in no time and get into your house or flat.

Burglar Protection Patio Door
Do not forget the balcony and terrace door

Ask your neighbours for support

The safest way to protect yourself is to have good neighbours. Therefore, inform them before you go away so that you can be alert if they hear noises, see lights or see suspicious people and alert the police. If you leave them a key, you can perform important tasks to make burglars think you are present. Ask your neighbours,

  1. to empty the letterbox every day,
  2. to open and close the windows and ventilate daily,
  3. to regularly water your plants or feed your cats at different times,
  4. to regularly open and close the roller shutters or sun blinds, and
  5. to mow the lawn every fortnight if you are on holiday for a longer period.

Houzy Hint

Tip

Bring your neighbours a little thank you and take on the same tasks when they go on holiday. Good neighbours are worth their weight in gold - and protect against burglaries.

Pretend to be present

If burglars think you are at home, they will give your home a wide berth. You can outsmart burglars with these simple measures:

  1. Have your mail retained if no one empties the letterbox.
  2. Interrupt newspaper and magazine subscriptions if you are absent for a longer period of time.
  3. Do not put a note with a holiday notice for the postman on the letterbox.
  4. Set up timers that switch lights in several rooms, the TV or radio on and off at different times or open and close roller shutters and sun blinds irregularly.
  5. Do not mention on your answering machine how long you will be absent.
  6. Do not write in your email autoresponder how long you will be absent.
  7. Do not post on Facebook or other networks how long you will be away and only share holiday pictures with family and friends.
  8. Do not park your car in front of the house or flat if you are on holiday without a car.

House with Light Burglary Protection
A house lit at different times protects against burglaries

Who covers the financial damage?

Despite all security measures, there is no such thing as 100 percent security. In most cases, your household insurance will cover the financial damage caused by burglaries. Regardless of whether the burglar picked the door lock (burglary) or got into your house or flat through the open kitchen window (simple theft). The insurance pays the replacement value of the stolen or broken valuables and covers consequential damages such as the new window or the repair of the lock. Attention:

  • In the event of burglary, jewellery or cash are only partially covered, usually a percentage of the sum insured up to a maximum amount.
  • Cash is not replaced in the event of simple theft

Artwork, musical instruments, watches or jewellery are also included in household insurance. But often only up to a maximum amount of 20,000 Swiss francs. If your art collection or jewellery is worth more, valuables insurance would be worth considering. It also pays if you misplace or lose your valuables or if your valuables are destroyed or damaged.

Check your security potential

On the Houzy platform you will find an easy-to-understand overview that shows the security potential of your flat or house. By clicking on the component in the interactive graphic, you will receive advice on electronic, structural-mechanical and organisational measures to improve security and protect your home from burglaries. In our network of experts, you will also find window manufacturers from your region who we can recommend to you with a clear conscience. You can receive up to 3 offers from our certified craftsmen.

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