To fully enjoy the benefits it provides, you want to keep your vacation home safe when you’re not there. The very reason you own a second home is to escape the troubles of regular life! The last thing you need is for your non-primary residence to add to your stress. Yet, because they are left unoccupied for extended periods of time, vacation houses are frequently targets of burglary, vandalism, and trespassing.
How to Keep Your Vacation Home Safe When You’re Not There
It’s always a worry when you’re away from your vacation home – whether it’s for a few days or a few months. But there are a few things you can do to make sure your property is secure while it is vacant. Follow this four-pronged approach for peace of mind:
1. Install Appropriate Security Systems
Install security camera systems to monitor activity around your home while you’re away. That way, you’ll have an extra layer of protection if something goes wrong. You will also be alerted if anyone comes to your home while you’re gone so that you can notify the authorities if necessary. You may also want to consider installing smart doorbells that will send an alert to your phone any time someone is at the door.
2. Secure the Entrances to Your Property
The first thing you should do when leaving is to make sure your home cannot be accessed. Yes, you must lock all doors and windows, but have you considered additional deterrents?
For instance, instead of regular door locks, use keyless entry locks. Bear in mind that a flimsy door can be broken open – no matter how strong the lock. Reinforce your exterior doors with a solid core or metal sheets. Lock glass sliding doors with a security bar. Secure any pet flaps in the doors, and remember the doors to the basement, shed, and so on.
A favored entry point for criminals, windows often need extra measures. Because the manufacturers’ latches are not generic, it may be necessary to install aftermarket window locks on your windows. Add glass security film to reinforce the panes or install glass break sensors. Both these options apply to glass sliding doors too. Modern window bars are made of transparent LEXAN polycarbonate. This makes them barriers that are strong, yet aesthetically pleasing.
3. Fake an Occupied House
Criminals are generally cowards. They would far rather break into a home that is unoccupied than risk running into an enraged homeowner.
For that reason, ensure that your vacation home seems like someone is staying in it. Maintaining the illusion of occupancy should reduce the risk of theft or damage to your property. To create a lived-in impression:
- Set automatic light timers so that it looks as though occupants are turning lights on and off.
- Keep your mailbox cleared by canceling any subscriptions and proving your forwarding address to the local post office.
- Maintain your garden. Not only is it in line with an occupied dwelling, but it also makes it harder for intruders to gain access to and /or hide on your property.
- Limit access to your home while you’re not there. This will help to prevent strangers from scoping out your property while you’re away.
4. Get Eyes on the Place
A trusted neighbor can keep an eye on any suspicious activity, remove flyers from your mailbox, and so on. If you are lucky enough, they may even be willing to act as key-holders and assist with supervised access to your home.
Contact the Experts at GHMS
Gardens Home Management Services provides you with peace of mind that your vacation home is secure – wherever you are. Our HomeWatch service emails you a report with photos and a checklist of what was inspected after every home inspection. Should any criminal activity have taken place, you will receive a detailed report. Furthermore, we will recommend what actions should follow. On your approval, we will take care of fixing any damage and re-securing your property. For more information on how to keep your vacation home safe, give Gardens Home Management Services a call on (561) 625-5700 or contact us online.