During holiday seasons, and especially the summer period, a lot of people go on holiday for a long period of time, with whole neighbourhoods practically being empty. For this reason we wish to give you a few tips on how to protect your property as thefts are consistently on the rise.
- Install an alarm system. They cost approximately €1,000 and €200 a year in maintenance and connect to your mobile phone, your local police station and a friend. Inform your local police station that you are away.
- Place shutters on the ground level windows of your property, at least. These could cost €3,000. If you don’t want to put them on all windows, place steel bars on the small ones (€500).
- Use laminated glass and security locks (added cost €1,000) for the aluminum windows
- You could install cameras at the main entrance points of the residence (another €1,000)
- Have garden and entrance lights with sensors (not expensive)
- Install a video phone at your entrance (approximately €300)
- Invest in a safe which must be screwed to the floor (approximately €1,000)
- Lock the door and windows when you leave, even for a short period of time. Use a security main door (add €500) imported with a steel frame.
- Close the curtains and shutter when you’re gone so that no one can see inside the house
- Avoid giving out your house keys unless you know the person well. It is very dangerous to give out your keys to occasional handymen, pool cleaners, gardeners and so on
- Do not leave a key outside hiden under a carpet or flower pot, or in the lock
- Connect your house phone with your mobile phone and avoid using an answering machine with a message saying you’re away
- Do not leave ladders and other equipment in the garden which might facilitate entry
- Try and build a good relationship with a neighbour and ask them to keep an eye on your property. A small gift on your return will go a long way
It is definitely worth considering these precautionary measures. You would be surprised what sort of things people steal, from an empty bucket, an entrance mat or a hose to all the more valuable things.
This sort of thing is especially noticeable in Protaras and Pafos during the winter season, when whole neighbourhoods are abandoned.
Three friends of ours with adjoining holiday homes in Protaras informed us of the thefts they experienced in November last year. One house had a fully stocked fridge and here the thieves ate. The second house provided them with alcohol, which the first house did not have, and they got through three bottles of good wine. And it seems they found the beds in the third house most comfortable and slept there as the televisions in the bedrooms were left on. The police said it must have been an “organized night out” for the thieves.
So bear in mind the above tips when it comes to your holiday home as well and it goes without saying that insurance is a must for all properties.
Antonis Loizou & Associates EPE – Real Estate Valuers, Estate Agents & Property Consultants, www.aloizou.com.cy, [email protected]