5 Tips for Securing Your Vacation Home

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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?

Keep these five tips in mind to prevent vandalism, trespassing, or even burglary at your vacation home.

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1. Install a monitored security system

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Arlo Pro 4

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Monitored security systems mean someone is always looking out for your property. With smart home apps, you can check on your vacation property even when you’re hundreds of miles away.

You can install motion sensor security 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

Top lock recommendation
Medeco Maxum

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While most burglaries in the United States are forced entries,1 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.

Check out our top picks for best locks.

3. Don’t leave a spare key outside

Best keyless door lock
August WiFi

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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. Or, install a smart lock that you can control with an app.

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

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WeMo Mini Outlet

Amazon.com price as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change. Read full disclaimer.

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 adding smart plugs 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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  1. FBI, "2019 Crime in the United States," Accessed April 5, 2022.


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Alina Bradford
Written by
Alina Bradford
Alina is a safety and security expert that has contributed her insights to CNET, CBS, Digital Trends, MTV, Top Ten Reviews, and many others. Her goal is to make safety and security gadgets less mystifying one article at a time. In the early 2000s, Alina worked as a volunteer firefighter, earning her first responder certification and paving the way to her current career. Her activities aren’t nearly as dangerous today. Her hobbies include fixing up her 100-year-old house, doing artsy stuff, and going to the lake with her family.

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