Whether you’ve just spent the most amazing week at your holiday home or you’re the proud owner of brand new vacation property to rent out, safety and security are always a concern. Because holiday homes spend a lot of the time unoccupied, security checks are vitally important and being unprepared can cause a lot of stress!
We’ve put together this holiday home security checklist to help you make your holiday home more secure and ultimately give you better peace of mind.
If your holiday home is not part of a secure gated community offering added security, consider arranging with your private security company to periodically and regularly do drive-bys of your property. Having a security presence near the property and in the neighbourhood can be a big deterrent.
Just purchased your first holiday home or changing management agents? Then it’s time to change the locks. Holiday home keys tend to pass hands a lot, from contractors and visitors to holiday renters and cleaning companies ,and changing the locks and alarm codes regularly will help keep your valuables safe.
Even though you do not live at the property, join the neighbourhood watch and/or get to know your neighbours and this goes a long way to securing your property. Not only will knowing your neighbours allow you to alert them when you are off again, but it gives you extra pairs of eyes and assistance while it’s vacated.
When staying in your holiday home for the first time, or visiting after a long time away, test your security system, motion detectors and security lighting to ensure that it’s working order for the time you will be away. Also, take the time to check the property for wear and tear, such as door locks, security gates and window latches. We have also written an article on DIY home security you can do over the weekend.
If you have just bought, and furnished your new holiday home or bought some upgrades, then remember to discard any empty boxes from new appliances and electronics away from the home at the local dump. Alternatively store these boxes in the garage away from sight. Nothing is more inviting to a thief than seeing freshly emptied boxes of high-valued items.
Double-check, after each visit, that things like ladders and tools are safely locked away. This will ensure criminals walking around looking for crimes of opportunity don’t have the tools and the means for a quick in and out. Also don’t forget to lock all your windows, and to hide any spare keys from the property out of sight after each visit.
Give your holiday home that lived-in feel. Things like timer light switches and organizing a regular garden service to keep the mow the lawn and hedges trimmed goes a long way to making your holiday home lived in. Have a neighbour pick up the mail regularly or divert all mail to a P O Box off site.
When choosing between curtains and blinds open or closed, always choose open. A home that always has closed curtains is giant sign that the property is a holiday home. This also means, should someone get into the property, your neighbours and security company won’t be able to see in to notice if something is just not right.
Are you insured correctly? Make sure your policy covers you for the amount of days your property is vacant and takes into consideration your security setting.
If you are renting out your property privately, leave a security checklist of your own for guests to remind them to keep doors locked and windows latched. Always double-check once guests have left that the home has been locked up correctly, that windows are closed and that the keys were returned.
Looking for more home security tips? Check out our 10 Easy and Effective Home Security Tips and 10 Things you Never Knew About Home Security articles for more advice on how to deter criminals and prevent break-ins.
Author: Steve Pearce