5 Steps to a Secure Vacation Home
It’s a common problem for people who have vacation homes. This is especially true if these homes are in areas where weekend or seasonal visitors are common. Aside from stopping mail delivery, what steps can you take to beef up your vacation home security?
Install the Best Window & Door Locks
If it is important to have high-quality locks on your windows and doors at your primary residence, how much more important is it to have them on a place that is frequently vacant for long periods of time? Since there is no way to guarantee that no one will ever try to break into your home, make sure you make it as hard as possible for them to get in if they decide to try. What is the best way to choose window and door lock solutions that are right for your home? Get a professional to help! Find a local locksmith you can trust and ask them to do an assessment of your home. They will look at the entire picture and make recommendations to secure your home based on the type of windows and doors you have, the layout of your home, and more.
Install a Security System
Home security systems are a proven way to keep burglars from attempting to break into a home. A study by the National Institute of Justice, showed that 90% of burglars would not approach a home with a security system. And, for those who are not ready to purchase an actual system, it’s nice to know that even a dummy sign or window sticker for an alarm system would stop 75% of them.
Add Security Cameras
If you want to add an extra layer to that deception, you can install security cameras around the home. Studies have shown that, similar to alarm systems, burglars tend not to be interested in homes that have active security cameras. As with alarm systems, they can be pricey, though, so you may want to opt for one of the great fake security cameras available, that are pretty hard to tell from the real thing, right down to the red LED lights. These are a good choice for enhancing vacation home security, because the batteries are generally good for many months at a time, keeping the cameras looking active.
Alarm systems and security cameras – real or fake – can be a great deterrent, but, they do not provide a 100% guarantee that your home won’t be hit, so here are a few other tricks you can use to further tip the scales in your direction.
Make People Think You are Still There
Vacation homes are tempting to burglars, because they prefer an unoccupied home. When they believe that no one will be returning soon, it is an even sweeter deal. So, they are looking for activity that show signs of life on the property. When nothing at the home changes at all, it is a clear indicator that the house is unoccupied.
One of the most inexpensive things you can do to give the impression that someone is in the home is to have timers set on various appliances to operate at different times. This is an old hack, and it won’t work well if you use just one inexpensive timer that allows only one setting. The co
nsistent pattern of a single light going on and off at exactly the same time each day is a dead giveaway that no one is home. However, there are many random outlet timers that allow you to set several different on-off sequences that vary each day, and with a little thought, these can produce very believable results.
Buy a few of these for multiple lamps and TVs in different rooms, and get creative! For example, in the early evening, have living room or den lights go on. A little later, have the TV go on in that room and stay on for a while. Meantime, as the evening progresses, have one or more bedroom lights go on. After the bedroom lights are on, wait a little while and have the TV and lights in the living room go off. Finally, later in the evening, have the bedroom lights go off. A sequence like that, using several timers, and varying the light-show every evening of the week will make a very good appearance of someone living in the home.
Don’t Post Plans on Social Media
If you have a Facebook page or twitter account that is not private, please be aware that these accounts contain a treasure trove of useful personal information, even though it may not appear that way to the non-criminal mind. When they are interested in targeting a home, burglars use these social media accounts to learn the habits of the people living there. So, to help secure your vacation home, don’t share when you plan to be there, or post photos that clearly identify you in a far-away place on a particular day. If you haven’t done so, go back and review your privacy settings and make sure you trust everyone who will have access to your posts.
We hope these tips have given you the tools you need to enhance your vacation home security. Your vacation home is a place you go to get away from your everyday troubles. Hopefully, these suggestions will help you stop trouble from finding you there!