M&S home insurance is urging households heading away on holiday this summer not to leave their empty homes vulnerable to opportunistic thieves.
Of the 69 per cent of Brits who will have spent at least one night away from home in August, 51 per cent will be leaving the house empty, without anyone to keep an eye on things while they are away, M&S home insurance has found.
These homes could be potential targets for thieves who take advantage of the summer holidays when people are away from their homes, and 24 per cent of people going away this month said they would not ask anyone to check on their property while it is empty.
And, despite the obvious dangers of doing so, 17 per cent of respondents admitted to leaving keys for their home hidden outside their property for friends, family, or neighbours to come round and check on things.
Andrew Ferguson, head of general insurance at M&S, said: "With August being one of the most popular months for people to go away, we would urge homeowners to take appropriate steps to ensure their home is secure while they enjoy their holidays.
"It is important that security measures you take are in line with the terms and conditions of your policy to ensure you have adequate cover should the worst happen."
To avoid coming back to news of a break-in, M&S home insurance suggests asking a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on the property, removing any post; cancelling regular deliveries, putting lights on a timer to make it appear as if someone is at home, and not leaving information about their whereabouts on social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter.
M&S also suggests householders check their home insurance policy to ensure they are covered if they are away for longer than 30 days.
© Fair Investment Company Ltd
Click here to apply for M&S home insurance or compare deals below »