Keep Your Second Home As Secure As Your First
The main reason to get a vacation home is to escape everyday life. Its a place to go to relax, to bask in the fresh air and sunshine and enjoy some peacefulness. However, since vacation homes are often left empty for the majority of the year, they become prime targets for thieves, vandals, and vagrants.
In fact, thieves have gotten so adept at pinpointing uninhabited vacation homes, they will come dressed as movers or repairmen, equipped with a company van, and take all your possessions without raising an eyebrow.
Even if you spend as little as a month or two a year in your vacation home, keeping it safe and secure should be given just as much priority as your primary home. Sure, it might not cost as much, or contain as many valuables, but its still your home
, so keeping it secure at all times will help keep you out of harms way when you are living there. After all, you wouldn't want to arrive at your second home ready for some relaxation only to find all your belongings gone.
Here are seven steps you can take to deter thieves from targeting your vacation home:
SEE ALSO: Top 5 Countries For Buying A Second Home
1. Maintain The Appearance Of Your Home And Yard:
A home given to disrepair is a sure sign that no one is living there, making it a prime target. Make sure your grass, tress, and shrubs are trimmed and healthy while you are away. Look into hiring a gardener or caretaker to come by every so often to keep your yard looking green and your property looking occupied.
2. Close Your Windows, Curtains, And Blinds:
Keeping your valuables out of sight is essential, so keep those curtains drawn and those blinds shut. However, if you want to give more of an illusion of people living in the house, consider leaving the curtains on upper stories slightly parted.
3. Secure All Doors And Windows:
It should be a given, but always make sure that all exterior doors and windows are locked when no one is at home. You might also want to invest in deadbolt locks and more secure window locks, or maybe even upgrade to reinforced doors and windows.
4. Put Your Lights On A Timer:
Getting a timer for some interior and exterior lights will create the appearance of someone being in residence. Motion-sensor outdoor lights can lend to this as well. There is also a product called a Fake TV burglar deterrent, which is a timed light that simulates the lights of a TV being watched, that can be placed in certain rooms in the house. Of course, sound can be just as effective an illusion, so getting a timer for a TV or radio to be turned on and off every now and then will not go amiss either.
5. Avoid Junk Mail Build-Up:
Another obvious sign that thieves look for to determine if a home is vacant, is the accumulation of junk mail, newspapers, flyers, or other deliveries. Consider having someone, a neighbor or friend who lives close by, collect your mail a few times a week. You could also call the post office to have your mail put on hold or forwarded to a different address.
6. Get To Know Your Neighbors:
Its always a good idea to get to know your neighbors. Keeping a mutual eye on one anothers places is an excellent and effective security measure that both parties will benefit from. Make sure they know when you are leaving, how long you are gone, if anyone else will be staying at your home, and how to get in touch with you in case anything happens.
7. Install A Security System:
A home security and monitoring system is still the best way to keep tabs on your property from any given place. They allow you to view the state of your home and check if there are any potential threats anytime, anywhere. When a threat is detected, the alarm system will go off and the local authorities will be alerted. Most insurance companies offer discounts on your home insurance if a security system is installed, another added bonus.
SEE ALSO: How To Connect Your Home Alarm To Your Smart Phone
Remember, your vacation home is a place you go to create lasting memories. However, if you dont take the time and effort to keep it secure, those memories you have might not be so happy. Its easy to forget about a place youre not using for most of the year, but taking steps to safeguard your home year-round is the best way to ensure the protection of you and your loved ones
when you are there.