It certainly is nice to have a vacation home to escape to when you need to get away. But what happens when you aren’t there?
Just as you would secure your main home, you also need to keep your vacation home safe.
Keep these five tips in mind to prevent vandalism, trespassing, or even burglary at your vacation home.
1. Install a monitored security system.
This is the best way to protect your home and the best recommendation SafeWise can give you. Today’s technology makes keeping your home secure possible and you can even check on it when you’re hundreds of miles away.
You can install cameras that will send real-time video to your smartphone, home or work computer, or your tablet. You can also get notifications when something isn’t right. Security cameras often prevent theft before it happens. Many would-be burglars will skip right over your property when they see cameras mounted outside.
2. Secure windows and doors.
Nearly 40% of household burglaries in the United States are not forced entries. Many burglars can simply walk, climb, or crawl inside houses without any trouble. Make sure all windows, especially windows on the ground level, have secure locks. You can also install a pin or nail into the frame, stopping the window from opening more than a few inches. Also lock any basement or back doors and install deadbolts on all external doors.
3. Don’t leave a spare key outside.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to leave a spare key under a front door mat, under a fake rock, or in any other well-known hiding place. It seems like a good idea to have a spare key somewhere you can get to in case you get locked out, but that’s also an open invitation for a burglar to walk into your house without any forced entry. A better option would be to leave a key with a trusted neighbor or friend who lives close by.
4. Get to know your neighbors.
Even though you don’t live there full time, you can still get to know your neighbors and find someone you trust with your information. Closer-knit neighborhoods generally experience fewer break-ins because strangers tend to stick out. Make sure your neighbors know that your home is a vacation home that you’ll visit a few times a year and ask them to keep an eye out for any strange activity. An observant neighbor can alert police if there is any suspicious activity while you’re away.
5. Make sure the home appears lived in.
If a house looks vacant, it’s an open invitation to a burglar, so make sure your vacation home looks lived in even when you aren’t there. Don’t let mail or newspapers pile up, keep the yard maintained, and make sure any bushes or shrubs are trimmed on a regular basis. You may also consider installing automatic timers on lights so your house doesn’t sit dark at night.
Far too many vacationers have waited until a crime has taken place to start thinking about protecting their vacation property. The risks are too high to go another day without securing your property.
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Written by Hillary Johnston
A proud mother of four, Hillary is passionate about safety education. She holds a degree in Public Health and Disaster Management. Learn more