Having a home away from home is a wonderful thing. The fondest childhood memories consist of family road trips, getting to the house, having a great time, then locking up and leaving. A house by the lake or in the woods is a great place for the entire family to relax and bond together. There were an estimated 1.13 million vacation homes were sold in the U.S., a full 21% of home transactions in 2014.
Vacation home security is a priority whether you are in your vacation home or not. Burglars know the seasonality of when vacation homes are occupied, and when to target them so nobody is home. This makes securing vacation homes difficult especially when you are hundreds of miles away.
Our article Home Security While On Vacation tackles how to leave a home alone, but here is our expanded list to cover the special challenges of vacation home security.
An unkempt outward appearance is a clear sign that no one is home. There should be no overgrown plants or trash anywhere. Arrange for grass and plants to be cut and raked.
In our earlier post, Top Ten Home Security Mistakes to Avoid, we state that you should not let mail or newspapers accumulate at the door. Uncollected mail and newspaper piles means no one is home to read them. Ask a neighbor to pick up your mail, or put your subscriptions on hold while you’re away.
All exterior doors should be heavy and equipped with deadbolts. Windows should have locks. All windows, doors, should have strong hinges, frames and doorjambs to be effective. If your security hardware looks worn or is not functioning perfectly read our Home Security Hardware Replacement Schedule. Your main house entry point should be your heaviest door with multiple locks. Make sure the locks are secure and that you don’t leave the keys around in obvious places like under a mat or in a flower pot.
Never leave any of your windows and doors broken. It doesn’t matter if your door is made of reinforced steel—if you have a broken window or a flimsy back door, you’re in trouble. Make sure everything is secured and you have sturdy locks on your windows—especially when you leave your property.
Kuna is a home security system that works from wherever you are. Install Kuna at every home entrance for illumination and security. Kuna activates each time motion is detected, sending you a smartphone alert so you can immediately view high-definition footage to assess the situation. You can also dismiss the alert, address who is at your door, or sound the 100 decibel siren.
A bright exterior at night shows prospecting burglars that this home may be occupied. But a home with an outdoor light that stays on or off all day and night is a dead give-away that nobody is home. Kuna lets you set the lights to turn on and off on schedule on a set schedule, or whenever they detect motion.
You can maximize your vacation home investment by renting it out through a service such as Airbnb, but a little due diligence goes a long way toward keeping your home safe.
It also pays to be friends with your neighbors and the rest of the local community. They can check on your home from time to time and let you know if something is going on.
Secure your home away from home and ensure a happy vacation every time. Read our blog and our resources page for more home security tips. If you have something to share please let us know in the comments below.
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