If you’re one of the 5.1 million Americans who are lucky enough to own a vacation home, then you are probably aware that a second home comes with its own unique security concerns. The fact that holiday homes aren’t usually occupied all year round make them prime targets for petty thieves. In this article we will be exploring some of the unique security issues that pertain to vacation homes, and look at some ways you can improve the security to prevent break-ins, both when you are on holiday and when the house is vacant.
Securing all doors
Being on vacation is all about relaxing and leaving the worries of the world behind you. When you’re occupying your holiday home you want to be able to relax without concerns over safety and security. Securing your doors is one of the most effective ways to make your holiday home more secure. Below we look at some ways you can achieve this in your home.
Change your locks
Probably the simplest way to make your vacation home more secure is to make sure all the doors can be securely locked. While this is essential when your holiday home is unoccupied, it is just as important when you are there. It is important to test your door locks and if necessary replace them if they are old or not functioning adequately.
Install door latches
While a locked door is a good deterrent for burglars, when you’re on holiday you usually want to leave doors and windows open and enjoy the setting of your holiday home. This is where a lockable door latch, such as the LockLatch provides an elegant solution. These latches fit onto any type of door and feature an adjustable C304 stainless steel arm, which allows you to keep the door both slightly ajar, but still securely locked in place. This means you can enjoy the sounds and scents of your vacation destination without fear of an unwanted intruder gaining entry into your holiday home. The LockLatch can be installed in minutes regardless of the type of door and the patented design comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Video doorbells are another great way to make your doors more secure. With the rise of smart home solutions these are now more accessible and affordable than ever. Devices such as Nest connect directly to your smartphone meaning you don’t have to carry the expense of CCTV installation in your second home.
Install a security gate
Security gates are another effective way to secure your doors while still allowing you to keep your holiday home open and well ventilated. While these might be costly to purchase and install, there is no doubting their effectiveness.
Securing your windows
Just like doors, windows provide another potential security headache, this is compounded by the fact that many windows are fitted with inferior latches or locks, which can easily be forced open by an opportunistic burglar. And while keeping your windows closed definitely makes them more secure, open windows are often essential in a holiday home that has stood vacant for an extended period of time. These properties need to be aired and a good security solution should allow you to ventilate your home as well as enjoy the setting.
Replace window locks or add locks
Simply ensuring that your windows have adequate locks is a great way to make them more secure. You should ensure that all your windows can be locked so that your holiday home is secure when it is unoccupied and that you can relax with peace of mind when you are there.
Install window security latches
Security devices such as the LockLatch or MiniLatch provide an effective security solution that also allows you to keep windows open, so your holiday home can get the ventilation it needs. The patented design of these devices means they can be installed onto any type of window from heavy wooden sash style windows to modern aluminum frames.
Reinforced window security films
Since windows are largely made from breakable glass, reinforced security film is an effective means of making glass panes less fragile. These films are applied to the glass and prevent them from shattering and coming apart if they are broken. When used in combination with a LockLatch they provide a robust security solution.
Keep valuables hidden
Regardless of the security solution you choose for your windows, one universal tip is to make sure you keep your valuables out of plain sight and away from windows where an opportunistic thief or burglar can spot them. By removing temptation from prying eyes you make your space less likely to be a target.
Holiday home security gadgets
Aside from securing your windows and doors, there are a number of other security upgrades you can make to your vacation home.
Remote view cameras
We’ve already mentioned how doorbell cameras can improve your security, but the same principles can be applied to security cameras. Advances in camera technology mean that these devices are now smaller, more cost effective and easier to install. Furthermore, the fact that you can view the video footage directly on your smartphone means that you can monitor your holiday home even if you are miles away.
Security alarms offer peace of mind when you aren’t occupying your holiday home. While you may not have a need to actively monitor your holiday home, an alarm can warn you if anything is amiss, which you can then investigate on your cameras. If your alarm is connected to an armed response company, they can also investigate any disturbance.
Window and door sensors
While LockLatch and MiniLatch are great security options when you are at your holiday home, when you are away you will want to keep windows and doors securely locked. Not only will window and door sensors alert you if someone enters your home, but they are also a great way to make sure your holiday home is properly locked up before you leave after a holiday.
Electronic door locks or bolts
Another alternative is to install electronic door locks. Many of these types of locks can be locked remotely, so they provide peace of mind with you never having to worry if you neglected to lock the door. These are also great solutions if you AirBnb your property as they allow you to lock up after guests, even if you aren’t nearby.
Security options to remember
Now that we’ve looked at some useful, high tech gadgets, let’s take a look at some other measures you can take to make your holiday home more secure.
Have a friend check in every now and then
If you know the neighbors or have friends who holiday nearby, you can ask them to check in on your property. Depending on how well you know them, you can give them a spare set of keys and even ask them to air the holiday home out to prevent it getting stuffy or mold forming when it is not in use.
Have lights on a timer
Having your lights on a timer creates the illusion that the house is occupied. While this effect may not stand up to closer scrutiny, for most thieves seeing the lights go on each evening is enough of an indicator of occupation for them to search for another target.
Solar powered light options
Solar powered lights not only help to illuminate your property, but because they don’t need electricity they are a cost and energy efficient way to make your property safer.
Inform your security company
If you are signed up to an armed response or security company it is important that you keep them notified of when your holiday home is occupied and when it is standing vacant. This allows them to know when people should be on the property and keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour when nobody should be there.
Do not leave a spare key
While leaving a key with a neighbor you know well is a good idea, leaving a spare key hidden on your property is not. Burglars know all the common hiding places and will quickly find keys hidden in flower beds, plants or under mats.
Add motion sensor light to the outside
Keeping your home adequately lit is one of the best ways to discourage potential thieves and motion sensor lights have the added benefit of scaring off a potential intruder. While this may only work once, it is still a cost effective deterrent to add yet another layer of security.
Try make your holiday home look lived in
There are many things that will tell burglars a house isn’t occupied. From a badly maintained garden to a lack of cars in the driveway. Wherever possible you should make your home look lived in to make it a less attractive target for burglars.
Increase your holiday house security with LockLatch products
If you’re looking to shore up your holiday home security, then why not start with a LockLatch. The unique benefits of these devices, coupled with their simple installation and versatility make them the perfect way to start making your holiday home safer today.