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.
1. Install a monitored security system
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 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
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.
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. 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
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.
Katherine has had several years of experience developing and executing multichannel marketing campaigns, but actually started her career path in journalism. Though she switched gears, she continues to be driven by the need to deliver information that can be helpful for individuals. As an owner of two rescue dogs, she is most interested in technology and products that allow her to keep a close eye on her pets when she’s away. Learn more