How many of these bad pre-holiday home security habits are you guilty of?

New research reveals we're putting our homes at risk of burglary this summer

white house exterior with blue front door, wall lights and plants
(Image credit: Future PLC / Phil Dunk)

Many of us are finally jetting off on much-needed holidays this summer, and new research from Aviva shows that in our excitement we're making some pretty reckless home security mistakes.

These days, there are of course loads of smart home security devices to help us keep an eye on our homes, from robot cameras to smart lighting. That said, we'd be foolish to get complacent, slipping into bad home security habits ahead of trips abroad.

Bad pre-holiday home security habits

pink front door in hallway with tiled flooring and black side table

(Image credit: Future PLC / David Giles)

'Summer 2022 is a fantastic time for holidays,' says Kelly Whittington, Property Claims Director for Aviva UK. 'But we’d urge people not to get so excited that they forget to carry out checks and leave their homes vulnerable while they’re away. 'A few simple steps can help to deter burglars and keep homes secure – so people aren’t returning to a post-holiday headache.'

1. Leaving a key under a doormat

One in 10 UK residents leaves a key under a doormat or plant pot while they go on holiday. Leave a key with a trusted neighbour, friend or family member but don't leave it somewhere anyone could find it.

2. Forgetting to lock windows and doors

We were surprised by this one, but according to the research, two-fifths of holidaymakers fail to check their doors and windows are locked before they leave. And here we are triple-checking the hob is definitely off...

open bathroom window with navy blue painted wall and white tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC / Clive Doyle)

3. Leaving valuables visible through windows

Fewer than half (48%) ensure valuables aren’t visible through windows. Shut blinds, move your laptop and any other valuable items away from prying eyes.

4. Not checking garages and sheds are locked

It seems we can be pretty lackadaisical when it comes to our outdoor spaces, too. Just two in five (43%) make sure sheds and garages are secured before heading off on holiday.

garden shed with bike

(Image credit: Future PLC / Tim Young)

5. Not putting away garden furniture

Last of all, a mere fifth (19%) of us put away our best garden furniture when we go away. Granted, some outdoor sofas are too big to be put away, but storing smaller items in a shed or garage can help to prevent opportunistic thefts.

July to September is a prime time for UK home theft claims that happen while people are on holiday. The average value of this type of claim is more than £6,000, so be sure to lock up before you jet off.

Millie Hurst
Senior Content Editor

Millie Hurst was Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home from 2020-2022, and is now Section Editor at Homes & Gardens. Before stepping into the world of interiors, she worked as a Senior SEO Editor for News UK in both London and New York. You can usually find her looking up trending terms and finding real-life budget makeovers our readers love. Millie came up with the website's daily dupes article which gives readers ways to curate a stylish home for less.