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Holiday Let Outside Lighting

It’s time to consider how well you illuminate the way to your holiday letting property with outside lighting. With British Summer Time at an end for another year the mornings and nights will soon be much darker. So if you’re welcoming guests during the winter months, ask yourself how well-lit is the exterior of your holiday home and the paths that lead to it?   Holiday Let Outside Lighting

Reducing the risks of slips, trips and falls with outside lighting

It’s important that all paths, steps and approaches to the entrance to your holiday home are illuminated sufficiently. Carefully positioning outside lighting will reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls.

During the winter months’ guests may not only have to deal with arriving or departing whilst it’s dark, they may also have to endure the cold, ice or rain that often accompanies the great British winter.

Slippery surfaces can become real hazards once the sun has gone down, and if you combine this with the fact that your guests won’t be familiar with the layout of your cottage and the approaches that lead to it, it further emphasises the importance of lighting these clearly for them to follow.

Should a guest trip and fall when approaching your holiday home at night, any injury claim will be impossible to defend if your paths and steps are not well lit.

Making things easy – lighting your key safe

The majority of holiday homes will have a key safe. They provide your guests convenient access no matter what time they’re arriving. You should ideally have a light in this area so guests are able to easily see the key code. There’s nothing worse than trying to find some sort of light, whether via a smart phone or a torch they keep in the car. Especially when all they want to do is get in, start their holiday and relax after a long drive.

Making sure they’re at the right place

Lighting the name or number of your property will give your guests confidence they’ve arrived at the right place. With our ever extending reliance on sat-navs, this can be an important feature if they’re arriving at night when they can’t fully see the exterior of the cottage. An added bonus if your cottage is in the countryside when a postcode may cover several different roads.

Options for reducing electricity bills on lighting

Whilst LED lights have become increasingly common within the interior and exterior of holiday homes to reduce potential energy bills (research has indicated they can save you up to £200 per year in an average household by being 10 times more efficient than their candescent counterparts), there are a number of solutions that could cut the costs of external lighting on your holiday home.

If you’re looking at the pathways to your property have you consider solar powered lights. These can be quick and easy to install, cost effective to buy and should still emit light in the darkest days of winter. However be sure to purchase good quality solar lights that will stand up to the job.

Looking to light that key safe? Consider motion censored lighting. Whilst there is a cost, it should soon pay for itself. Lighting triggered by motion can also scare off potential intruders looking to gain entry to your holiday home.

Maintaining your outside lighting

Ensure that all of your bulbs and outside lighting are regularly checked. This may be by you, your housekeeper, caretaker or whomever is responsible for the continued upkeep of your property. Whilst it’s only a small job, a faulty bulb can end up on a busy to-do list. Therefore ensure that as soon as there is an issue it is quickly resolved. This will make life easier for your guests and make their stay safer. It may even save you a costly holiday home insurance liability claim.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home and property insurance to holiday cottage owners across the country. For more information on our policies have a look around Boshers website. For a quote or to ask any question please give our team a call on 01237 429444.

Key Safes - holiday home secure

Key Safes - holiday home secureAre you guilty of hiding the key to your holiday home under the mat or plant pot? There is another way of keeping your holiday home secure!

Whether your visitors are just ten minutes or a few days away from arrival, placing your holiday home keys in an insecure place like this can be risky and potentially make your cottage a target for opportunist thieves.

According to a study by LV (Liverpool Victoria), 19% of people admitted to leaving the keys to their property under a plant pot. And if that’s not daunting enough, police figures show that more than 6,000 homes burglaries in a single year were as a result of thieves using keys!

But is there a viable alternative when guests are coming and going on a regular basis? The good news is yes, there is, and it comes in the form of a key safe.

Before you go ahead and install one, here are some key things to consider….

A mechanical key safe approved by the police

One of the UK’s leading producers of key safes, the Key Safe Company, has created the first-ever mechanical key safe to achieve UK police approval.

The Supra C500 has been subject to vigorous testing and as a result, is the only type of key safe to receive the LPS 1175 Level 1 certificate, making it an accepted form of security by many insurance companies.

Please visit keysafe.co.uk/ to find out more about the Supra C500.

Where should it be installed?

Key safes should be located on an exterior wall, concealed where possible, but not hidden to the point your visitors can’t find it when they arrive (be sure to include instructions and information as to the whereabouts of the safe within your pre-holiday communications).

Use a specialist locksmith or professional installer to install your key safe to ensure it’s secure and effective.

If you’re installing your own, be aware that it must be fixed into brick or dense concrete rather than breezeblock or soft mortar.

Regularly update your key safe codes

There’s little point in having a key safe if you never change the code. It’s good practice that periodically you, your housekeeper or cleaner is tasked with doing this, potentially between changeovers.

Remember you’ll always need to let your next guest know the code before they arrive!

Protect yourself

If your holiday home is due to be unoccupied for a lengthy period of time it makes sense to arrange for the keys to be removed from the safe. Leaving them for prolonged periods could be a security risk in itself.

Am I covered?

An important question to check is ‘am I protected by my insurers?’

Although many insurance companies are now accepting the use of key safes within their policies, some may have certain fitting conditions, combination code requirements, etc.

Always check to make sure you’re covered before investing in and installing a key safe.

Talk to an expert

For more information about key safes we highly recommend you talk to a specialist locksmith or reputable company such as Key Safe.

It’s not practical to expect your holiday home guests to keep your holiday home secure in the same manner that you would, they may not lock every window whilst they go out for the day so look for a holiday home insurance policy such as that offered by Boshers that does not require evidence of forceful of violent entry in the event of a theft claim. At Boshers we understand that key safes are in common use at holiday homes, whist we expect you to take care in the manner which you use an operate a key safe at your holiday home our policy does not have any specific conditions specifying how they’re used.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the insurance cover you have in place or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance please give one of our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

This holiday home security article has been created as generic guidance for holiday home, cottage and holiday cottage complex owners and does not constitute security or insurance advice. If you have any questions relating to holiday home security and the prevention of thefts at your holiday cottage you should take advice. 

Holiday Home Security

Holiday Home SecurityHoliday homeowners often face a unique set of circumstances when it comes to holiday home security; you could live a good distance from your property, it may be unoccupied for periods during the year and you’ll ultimately have no control over how security conscious and diligent your guests remain when they’re in relaxation mode on their holiday.

Whilst latest Government figures show the rate of UK robberies is at an all time low, now is a great time of the year to be taking a look at what security you have in place, and how you communicate this vigilance with your guests.

In this essential guide to holiday home security we give you a few simple steps you can put in place in order to make sure that your cottage is as secure as possible…

Windows and Doors

The majority of thieves are opportunists and holiday homes can provide them with an abundance of potential opportunities. Your guests will stay in their droves during the summer months when temperatures are higher, leading to the temptation of leaving windows wide open when away from the property. Combine this with the fact they’ll spend the majority of the time away from your cottage and you’ve got an unoccupied home with little defence.

3 out of 10 burglaries are committed without using force; whilst the majority of visitors will treat your cottage like their own, consider adding a friendly request to secure all windows and doors before leaving the property, and also consider any communication that you could display near windows, particularly if they’re located on the ground floor.

Locks

Adding locks to windows throughout your holiday home can be another line of defence. An insurer may want to know what security systems you have in place to see if they meet conditions for external and internal doors. A five-lever mortice deadlock conforming to the British Standard 3621 is highly recommend, if not one of a higher spec.

For extra peace of mind windows could also be fitted with key operated locks with handles that are multi locking and conform to British Standards.

Key Safes

Changeover or periods during which your holiday home is unoccupied could be potential targets for burglars. If you don’t already have one, consider the use of a key safe to secure your holiday home keys for the convenience of your visitors.

For more information on the first ever police approved key safe please take a read of our blog post here:

Keeping an eye out

We’ve said that these periods can be a target, so how often do you visit the property to ensure everything is in order? If you live a good distance from your holiday home consider having a neighbour, or cleaner make regular checks on your property, especially during vacant periods. This can be useful not only from a security perspective, but also highlight any maintenance issues during the busy season.

Holiday letting agents will also be able to keep you well informed on these aspects and may even offer an inspection service or point you in the direction of someone who does..

Burglar Alarms

According to Yale, 60% of burglaries are on homes that have inactive alarm systems.

So does your holiday home have an active alarm, particularly when you don’t have any guests? We advise talking to alarm specialists about what type of alarm you should use and highly recommend asking a registered company to install it.

Visit the National Security Inspectorate website at www.nsi.org.uk to find a registered specialist near you.

Property contents

It’s vital that you have contents insurance in place, but do you know exactly what contents are in your holiday home? If you only visit the property infrequently it may be some time before you realise that items have been removed from your cottage.

Make a list of items inside your holiday home and also consider taking photographs of where they are located (this can be useful for future reference should there be any issues).

Property marking is an additional way of protecting items of particular value and will make it harder for thieves to sell on. Methods include UV pens, etching and forensic marking. Talk to your local police and council to find out if they run any workshops in the area.

Holiday home insurance

Do pay attention to any security conditions in your holiday home insurance policy and ensure that you have the correct holiday home security in place. Whilst it is good practice to have all the above security measures in place, our underwriters will not generally require minimum security measures to be in place unless your contents sums insured are substantial. It’s not practical to expect your holiday home guests to lock every window whilst they go out for the day so look for a holiday home insurance policy that does not require evidence of forceful of violent entry in the event of a theft claim.

If you have any questions or queries regarding the insurance cover you have in place or if you require a quotation from a specialist for your holiday home insurance please give one of our experienced team a call on 01237 429444.

This holiday home security article has been created as generic guidance for holiday home, cottage and holiday cottage complex owners and does not constitute security or insurance advice. If you have any questions relating to holiday home security and the prevention of thefts at your holiday cottage you should take advice. 

Boshers are pleased to bring you their top ten holiday home insurance blogs from 2011. These articles will be of interest to owners of UK furnished holiday lets. Enjoy reading them….

1.Top Tip To Deter Holiday Home Thefts

2.Free Impartial Advice On Energy Saving For Home Owners

3.Visit England Launches Free Guide On Accessible Tourism

5.The UK’s First Police Approved Key Safe

6.Holiday Home Insurance – improved wording and increased cover 

7.Holiday Home Maintenance Checklist

8.Theft Of Heating Oil From Holiday Homes

9.Seven Tips For Safe Holiday Home Letting

10.Holiday Home Winter Maintenance Checklist

Holiday Home Insurance

 

Please “Like” us on Facebook and you’ll be kept informed about important holiday home insurance developments and noteworthy news of interest to holiday home owners.

Once we have 250 Likes on our Facebook page we’ll choose a fan at random and post them a C500, the UK’s first Police Approved key safe…read all about it here..!  

Many thanks in anticipation…

C500 Key Safe

C500 key safe
One benefit of our holiday home insurance policy is that the comprehensive cover provided to holiday home owners accommodates the use of Key Safes to make it more convenient for guest changeovers. All our underwriters ask is that you take sensible precautions such as those covered in our previous blog post, You, Your Holiday Home Insurance and Key Safes.

As part of our service to holiday home owners, we like to inform you of products, services, risk advice and legislative changes of interest to you as a furnished holiday let owner. Whilst we are not in a position to directly endorse the C500 key safe ourselves we were suitably impressed with it to warrant this blog, with the proviso that other key safes are available..

Read on for details of the C500 – The UK’s first Police approved key safe.

For your guests, gaining access into your holiday home is often a challenge. A key safe can provide immediate access for authorised visitors using a unique combination. This guarantees secure access 24/7, allowing visitors to arrive and depart whenever they need to. It’s why 86% of Local authorities use this method to deliver care into the homes of vulnerable people they support.

Police Approved – Key safe designs can vary greatly, not just in terms of looks but also levels of security.

Supra UK were concerned that some key safe products actually put people’s homes and vulnerable people at risk. This concern prompted Supra to carry out extensive market research to understand what customers wanted from a key safe. It highlighted that 80% of people said that the most important key safe accreditation was gaining Police approval. This was a tough challenge but essential to meet customer requirements.

Supra are absolutely delighted to announce that the Supra C500 KeySafe ™ has now achieved LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) 1175 level 1 security rating; this is the same level of security provided by a domestic front door. Gaining this independent security rating then enabled the C500 to be Police approved, through the Secured by Design (SbD) scheme.

This makes the C500 and only key safe on the UK market to be approved by the Police.

installing a key safe

What experts think of the C500 KeySafe:

“Now that the C500 KeySafe has achieved LPS and; SbD accreditation this should be the only key safe that is specified – it is a very good product”

Peter Bennett, Thames Valley Police

“We have no hesitation in saying that out of the five key safe products evaluated, the Supra C500 is the only key safe worth considering.”

Dr. Kevin Doughty – Centre of Usable Home Technology (CUHTEC)

Supra are confident that the C500 KeySafe is the most attack resistant on the UK market. If you are in any doubt on the suitability of a particular key safe, please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer.

Find out more at www.keysafe.co.uk

Find out more about holiday home insurance from Boshers Ltd by clicking here.

Installation from Supra UK Ltd.

C500 key safe | longer screws for rendered walls

Please note that with effect from September 2014 The Key Safe Company have made a small but important change to the installation fixings supplied with the C500 police approved key safe. They are now supplied with 60mm long self-tapping masonary screws, these longer screws are more suitable for fixing through rendered walls, negating the need to knock the render off of the wall before fixing. Find out more about the C500 improvements to key safe installation fixings.

Holiday home owners considering a key safe will also find this blog post of interest: You, Your Holiday Home Insurance and Key Safes.