A vacation makes for a wonderful get-away from your everyday routine. It is a place where your family gets together and spends a relaxing holiday, making memories and not worrying about their busy lives back home. But do you often find yourself worrying about the security of your home when on vacation?
Vacation homes are easy targets, and often subject to crimes like burglary, vandalism, and trespassing because they remain vacant for long periods. Fortunately, you can easily prevent this from happening. Here is a compilation of measures that you can take to make your vacation home more secure.
A. Install A Security System
The best way to keep your vacation home secure is by installing an automated home security system. It is your first line of defense against anyone trying to invade your home as it secures all the entry points, i.e., the doors and windows. With today’s fast-growing technology, it is highly possible to keep an eye on your home at all times.
A good surveillance system should have features such as security cameras, heat sensing, motion sensing, night vision, etc. Most importantly, you should be able to access and control the security from your phone or tablet, even when you’re far away. Most burglars avoid houses with security cameras and alarms, and therefore, this should be the first step you take to keep your vacation home safe.
Here are a few recommendations for good vacation home security systems:
1. SimpliSafe SS3 Wireless System – Complete Home Protection with Easy DIY Setup
Recently named “The Best Home Security System” by CNET and PC magazines, SimpliSafe has become a rather popular choice and is used by around 2 million people nationwide. It ensures 24/7 professional monitoring.
Parallel Wi-Fi and cellular connections run to 24/7 alarm monitoring and police dispatch, meaning your home is highly secure at all times. It has a simple
Do-It-Yourself setup and protects every door and window in your home. Also, it is a Smart security system and works with other smart home devices like Alexa and August smart lock.
2. LifeShield Smart Home Security System
This security system has optional 24/7 monitoring, a Smart Camera, and it is Wi-Fi enabled. It consists of 2 pet-friendly motion sensors, 4 door/window sensors, a fire-safety sensor, and an indoor smart camera that has motion detection, live video, and video recording. This system has high-speed internet, cellular signals, and even a landline to make sure that all signals reach the owner.
LifeShield also has a free mobile application, that allows you to check your security system and view live videos of vacation home anytime, anywhere. It is also compatible with household smart devices such as Amazon Alexa.
B. Make Sure That Your Security System Has Environmental Sensors
Besides intruders and unwanted activity around your vacation home, your security system must also be able to monitor and detect damaging environmental activity such as floods and fires. Flood sensors are available, which detect the change in the moisture content in the atmosphere in and around the house.
Similarly, you must also use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that can detect fires or poisonous gas leakage. Make sure that these are connected to your mobile device so that you can immediately take action or inform your neighbors or the local police to do something about it. Here are a few options for smoke and flood detectors:
1. Onelink Safe & Sound by First Alert
The Onelink Safe and Sound is an Alexa-enabled, hardwired photoelectric smoke and chemical carbon monoxide alarm. It can be controlled from your mobile phone. This alarm sends notifications to your phone in case of an emergency, thereby ensuring 24/7 monitoring.
Also, you can track carbon monoxide levels and customize the nightlights using the First Alert’s Onelink home app. Battery levels can be tracked using the same app, hence you will know when it is time to replace them.
Installation of this alarm is made extremely easy by using the AC adapter plugs included, to replace the hardwire alarms without having to do any rewiring.
2. Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak & Freeze Detector
This detector sends alerts by text and email in case any flooding or leak is detected and also has an audible alarm. It has geo-fencing technology that can tell who’s nearby and sends “all clear” when the problem is solved. It also has inbuilt temperature and humidity sensors, that can be very useful to alert the owner of flooding, or possible fungus growth in the house.
C. Install Outdoor Security Lights
Most intruders will avoid homes that are well-lit on the outside and near the doors and windows. A well-lit home gives the intruders that it may be currently occupied. Consider installing light-timers that can be controlled from your phone or mobile device.
This way, you can make sure that the lights in your vacation home can be switched on at strategic times, especially at night. Also, have a security light installed at locations that are prone to break-ins such as the backdoor, front door and all windows. Here are a few recommendations for outdoor security lights:
1. LITOM Premium Solar Lights Outdoor (4 Pack)
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This security lighting system has a no-dim mode so that it can be used for long periods. It has motion sensors as well; its bright mode gets triggered when it detects motion nearby and stays on for 30 seconds as long as the object or person near it remains in motion. It has an 18650 rechargeable battery and an illumination range of 215 square feet for one light, and 860 square feet if all 4 lights are used simultaneously.
The LITOM solar lights have a unique waterproof design and extremely durable. They can withstand all kinds of weather and are perfect for installation at strategic locations like garage doors, back doors, and windows
2. Upgraded SANSI LED Motion Sensor Outdoor Lights
This lighting system consists of 2 ultra-bright LED lights heads with 8 LED bulbs. It produces up to 3600lm high brightness white light, consuming only 36W. It has built-in 24/7 motion sensors with a 180° sensing angle and a 5ft sensing range. It automatically switches on when motion is detected and switches off when no further motion is detected. The system has durable and compact housing, with high-quality ceramic sealed lens technology that ensures long-lasting performance and heat dissipation. The lights are also weatherproof and can withstand any climatic conditions.
This system can easily be installed and comes with the necessary DIY-instructions, wires, and accessories. It also has a 5-year unlimited warranty.
3. Amico LED Security Lights
This lighting system consists of 2 light heads with 32 LED units. It provides high illumination and has a 150° sensing angle, making it perfect for installation at doorways, stairwells, and garages.
It has a motion-sensing range of 26ft-50ft and automatically switches on in the dark. It can be timed to switch off whenever you want. The sensor settings can also be customized to meet your needs. This system is waterproof, weatherproof, and has a long lifespan.
D. Secure Doors And Windows With Smart Locks
An astounding 40% of burglaries in the use do not occur due to breaking in or forced entry, but due to doors and windows left unlocked due to negligence. Make sure all entry paths, especially the ones at ground level, are locked and secure at all times. Smart Locks are the best option to prevent doors and windows from being unlocked.
A smart lock can be locked from your mobile device and can be unlocked in the same way, to grant temporary access if you have a neighbor coming in regularly to clear your mail or mow your lawn.
This also eliminates the burden of keys, giving you, the owner, full control of all the doors and windows. Going keyless and using smart locks is the most ideal and simple way to secure your vacation home. Here are a few recommendations for smart locks:
1. August AUG-SL-CON-S03 Silver Smart Lock Pro
This smart lock is compatible with Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant. In addition to being controlled through your mobile device, it also has voice recognition. It can be timed to lock and unlock to your preference, and also tracks activity around. This way, you can always keep track of who’s coming and going at all times.
2. August Smart Lock, 3rd Gen Technology
This smart lock can be integrated with Alexa, Google Assistant, Airbnb, SimpliSafe, etc. It ensures a secure, keyless locking and unlocking system for your home, and also keeps track of activity around your home.
All these features can be completely controlled from your phone or any similar mobile device. Though it is keyless, it can be separately attached to your door, so everyone can still use their keys.
This lock is just a step to ensure complete security. It locks automatically when the door is closed. It is easy to install and takes only about 10 minutes to do so.
E. Install A Video Doorbell
A video doorbell that is connected to your mobile will give you information about everyone who’s visited the house and rang the doorbell when you weren’t there. Each time someone rings the bell, your phone will receive a notification about the same.
Choose a doorbell that also has inbuilt motion sensors that will alert your phone even if the visitor doesn’t ring the doorbell. This is an extremely useful tool to keep track of unwanted visitors trespassing on your vacation home. Here are a few recommendations for the same:
1. Smart Wireless WiFi Video Doorbell
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This doorbell can easily be installed in your home without using any cables or wires. Once this is done, connect it to the corresponding app on your mobile phone.
This will enable you to see anyone at the door through your phone even if you are miles away. You will also be able to speak to the visitors using the mobile app.
This doorbell also has features such as motion detection and infrared night vision. Your phone will be alerted anytime motion is detected, and this feature can be switched on and switched off to your liking.
2. EwiseeLive Wireless Door Bell
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This product only supports 2.4G WiFi, not 5G WiFi. It has the video-talk-back feature, i.e., not only will you be able to see who rings your doorbell from your phone, but you will also be able to communicate with them.
This doorbell also has features such as motion sensing and infrared night vision. It is weatherproof and equipped to take photos and record videos under any climatic condition, night and day.
F. Store Valuables Away From Sight
This should ideally be done every time you leave your home, and hence, it should definitely be done if you’re leaving the house vacant for a long time. Radios, gaming consoles, speakers, and other electronic devices should be locked away in cupboards or storerooms.
Cash, credit/debit cards, jewelry, and important documents should be kept in safes that have security codes for locking and unlocking. Here are some recommendations for safes to keep in your vacation home:
1. Viking Security Safe VS-25BL Biometric Safe
This safe is easy to set up and use. It can save the fingerprints of up to 32 people or can record 1 code for locking and unlocking. It has a fully adjustable shelf to organize all your jewelry, cash and important documents. It is robust, and is tightly sealed, and is therefore safe for storing firearms.
2. Amazon Basics Home Safe
This safe is 1.8 cubic feet and has a programmable keypad to record a code for locking and unlocking. It is made of heavy duty carbon steel and has 2 live-door bolts and pry-resistant concealed hinges for superior security. It can be used to store jewelry, important documents, and any other valuables. It also has pre-drilled holes and hardware necessary for floor or wall mounting.
G. Miscellaneous Measures
- Make your vacation home look lived in. This can be achieved by switching on your security lights from time to time and hiring a gardener to regularly trim the bushes and mow the lawn. Unwanted guests usually steer clear of homes that seem like they are occupied.
- Avoid keeping spare keys in places such as under a flower pot or the welcome rug. You should either go keyless and use smart locks or keep the spare key with you at all times.
- Have a pleasant rapport with the neighbors of your vacation. A good, trustworthy friend can always be relied on to keep an eye on your property.
- Do not post updates about your vacation on social media. Similarly, in your vacation home, do not change your answering machine message saying that you are away.
- Stop mail and newspaper services once you leave your vacation home. Accumulation mail and newspaper are easy indicators that your home is vacant, making it an easy target for unwanted guests.
All these steps are extremely simple to put in action. Your vacation home is a place associated with relaxation, time spent with family, and making beautiful. Put in a little extra effort to make this special place safe and secure!