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How to protect your home

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During the holiday season and especially the summer period, many people go on vacation, with neighbourhoods practically deserted, so there is no protection of your property other than the observing eyes of the neighbours.

For this reason, I submit a few ideas to consider what you can do to protect your property since thefts are on a constant rise.

  • Install an alarm system (approximately €1,000 + €200/year maintenance) which nowadays can be connected to your mobile, the local police station and a friend. Inform your local police station that you are away, or you may call your ‘neighbourhood PC’ if there is one in your area.
  • Install shutters, at least on the ground level windows of your property (cost starting from €3,000). If not on all, you can place steel bars in the case of small windows (approximately €500).
  • Use laminated glass and security locks (added cost €1000) for the aluminium frame windows.
  • If more safety-conscious people, use cameras, which will cover the main entrance points of the residence (another €1,000).
  • Add automatic sensors to your garden and entrance lights (little added cost).
  • Use a garden and main entrance door with a video phone (approximately €300).
  • Invest in a safe which must be mounted on or built into the floor so that it is not taken away (approximately €1,000).
  • Lock the door and windows when you leave, even for a short period.  Use a security main front door (add €500)  with a steel frame.
  • Close the curtains and shutters so that no one can see inside the house.
  • Avoid giving out your house keys unless you fully trust that person. For example, it is risky to give your keys to occasional handypersons/pool cleaners/gardening people, etc.
  • Do not leave the key outside (under the carpet) or inside the locked door.
  • Connect your telephone with your mobile and avoid using the answering machine saying, “I am away”.
  • Do not leave ladders and other equipment in the garden, which might facilitate entry.
  • Try and build up a good relationship with a local or resident administrator, asking them to keep an eye out. A small gift (e.g., a bottle of whisky) on your return will go a long way towards this end.

These and other preventive measures are what one must consider, especially during holiday periods – including wintertime in holiday home areas.

You cannot imagine what sort of things people usually steal. From an empty water bucket to the entrance mat, a water hose and even a dry-clothes net, in addition to the more serious thefts of valuables.

This sort of thing is especially common in the Protaras and Paphos rural areas, where entire neighbourhoods are sometimes abandoned during the winter season.

In the Protaras area, I was told by three friends who have adjoining holiday homes, their experience during November last year.

In the one house with a fully stocked fridge, the thieves ate, but because there were no spirits or drinks, they broke into the second house, consuming a good three bottles of wine.

However, because the beds were not comfortable, they broke into the third house where they slept the night and left the bedroom TV on.

According to the police, nothing was actually stolen, but this must have been an “organised night out”.

See the police leaflet which is quite informative: https://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/All/932D4C8A4F36C8EEC2258538003EF7B6/$file/enjoy_holidays.pdf?OpenElement

When buying a holiday home, bear in mind the above tips since there is nothing worse than going to your holiday or primary home and finding it has been broken into.

It goes without saying that a good home insurance policy to cover as much damage as possible is a must for all purposes.