Do you own a second home? It’s pretty common to own a vacation home or rental property. In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 7.5 million Americans do.
With coronavirus (COVID-19) fears and travel restrictions ramping up, you might not be able to take that trip you were planning anytime soon. These are strange times and you might be worried about your other property if you can’t travel there.
That’s why it’s important to plan ahead and have safety protocols in place. This is a great idea, even when we’re not in the middle of a global pandemic. Securing your second home might sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are four simple ways to secure your vacation home.
1. Be neighborly
Even if you’re not BFFs with your neighbors, it’s a good idea to at least introduce yourself and get to know each other a little. That way, you can help each other out and keep an eye on each other’s property when one of you is away.
Give them a heads up when your home will be vacant so they can shoot you a text or give you a call if they see anything suspicious going on. This helps make the entire neighborhood safer.
You might not know this, but nearby homes become a higher risk after one burglary occurs in the area. Don’t give crooks a chance to sneak up to your property — stay on good terms with your neighbors.
2. Always make it look like someone’s home
Vacation properties are goldmines for burglars for the most obvious reasons: They’re vacant and the chance of thieves getting caught in the act is much lower than it would be in an occupied home.
The thing is, no one needs to know your property is vacant. If you’re not able to be there very often, hire someone to take care of the yard. Have them mow the lawn, rake leaves and shovel snow if it’s in a cold-weather area.
Another dead giveaway that a property is vacant is if it’s always dark. Install motion lights outside so if a burglar gets near, the lights turn on and frighten them away. For inside the house, consider installing lights with timers or use smart lights you can turn on and off from your device.
One thing a lot of people don’t think about is changing the locks after buying a new home. You don’t know the previous owner or if any previous tenants kept their keys. So, yes, change the locks when you purchase a new home.
3. Keep in touch with local law enforcement
This is one of the easiest things you can do to protect your property. Let the local police department know when you’re going to be away for an extended period of time.
They will be happy to get a heads up when you’re gone, this way they can pay extra attention to the area while on patrol. Just give the department a quick call and report the dates your property will be empty.
4. Install a home security system
This is the most important part of your new protection plan: Install a home security system. Having a SimpliSafe home security system will provide an immense sense of comfort while you’re away.
You can be alerted if a door or window is opened, or if the glass is broken. Motion sensors will trigger if anyone, or anything, is moving around inside your 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 home from your camera and stay up to date with Smart Alerts.
Plus, 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, too.