Securing Your Vacation Home

securing a vacant property

Do you or any of your friends own a second home? A cabin in the woods or a seaside bungalow near the beach? Perhaps a second property you rent out? If so, you’re among 7.5 million homeowners across the country. Second home ownership started booming in 2014 and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s great to have a vacation home to escape to, or a rental property to bring in a little extra money. But when you’re not there, it’s hard to know exactly what’s going on.

To put your mind at ease, SimpliSafe has some tips for keeping your second home safe.

Give the Police a Heads-up When You’re Away:

Local police want to know when a house is vacant so they can show extra care in patrolling the area to look for trouble. When you’re going to be away from your vacation home, just give the police a quick call and report the dates the property will be empty.

befriending neighbors

Befriend Your Neighbors:

We’ve talked in the past about the importance of community. It’s always a good idea to talk to your neighbors about when your home will be vacant. Ask them to keep a casual eye on the property and shoot you a text or give you a call about anything suspicious. This will work to make the whole neighborhood safer, particularly because nearby homes become more at risk after one burglary occurs.

Admittedly, getting to know neighbors can be tough in a vacation area. You and your neighbors might only meet a few times a year. But do your best! Offer to keep an eye on their home too, or suggest hiring a local resident together to keep an eye on the whole neighborhood.

Make it Look Like Someone’s Home:

One of the reasons vacant properties are targeted by burglars is that they’re, well, vacant. The risk of a burglar getting caught is much lower compared to an occupied home. But nobody needs to know your property is vacant. If you’re able to visit frequently, put some effort into maintaining the yard. Mow the lawn, shovel snow, and rake leaves. If you live far away, you can easily hire someone to take care of this.

A dark home is a dead giveaway for burglars of a prime target. Consider timed lights indoors to make it look like someone is home. You can also install motion lights outside the home to spook anyone who gets too close.

It’s also a smart idea to have the locks changed after you buy a place. You don’t know who owned it before you, or how many of the previous tenants kept copies of their keys. While you’re thinking about the locks, make sure to check the windows and other entrances, like a bulkhead, so as not to give a burglar easy access. You could also consider reinforcing any vulnerable windows with bars.

protecting vacation home

Install a Home Security System:

A home security system like SimpliSafe can provide immense comfort while you’re away. You can be alerted if a door or window is opened, or if glass is broken. Motion Sensors will trigger if anyone (or anything) is moving around inside the home. A 105 decibel siren will scare anyone off before they can cause damage, and local police will be on the way to investigate and secure the property. You can also monitor your property from your camera, and stay up-to-date with Smart Alerts.

A home security system protects your home from more than just burglars. With Smoke, Carbon Monoxide, Water, and Freeze Sensors, you know your property is safe from extreme weather and the elements.