How to Protect Your Property & Make Your Guests Feel Safe
To create the ideal vacation home and ensure that your rental calendar is booked solid, you must invest in quality interior design, attractive exterior landscaping, and modern vacation home security. Even if you decorate the home exquisitely with soft colors and the most comfortable furniture, guests will only feel relaxed if they have no worries about personal safety or the protection of their belongings. Also, when your vacation home is unoccupied, you must be confident that nobody can burglarize or violate the space. Fortunately, with advanced surveillance devices and a comprehensive vacation home security system, there is no reason to leave your guests and your property in a vulnerable position.
As a vacation homeowner, you can take action to defend your real estate with the following protective measures, some of which are rather simple and others of which feature cutting-edge engineering.
Leave Instructions for Guests
Informing guests about how to stay safe can be a tricky tip to implement because you want to provide them with clear instructions on vacation home security – but you don’t want to leave them feeling scared and insecure. Rather than giving a strict list of safety guidelines that may panic your renters, you can prepare a comprehensive welcome packet and include essential security guidelines. Make sure to stress the importance of locking doors at all times and remembering to shut the lights and curtains when they head out for the day or go to sleep at night. You should also include clear instructions for operating the devices of your vacation home security system.
Get to Know Your Neighbors
The eyes and ears of the people who live on all sides of your property are some of the most powerful equipment for effective vacation home security. Often, neighbors are the first ones to notice when something is amiss. It’s smart to foster good relationships with the people who live nearby and to keep them updated on your rental schedule. This way they will know to pay attention if any action is going on when the property is supposed to be empty.
Mail and any fliers left on the doorstep are a loud and clear announcement that your vacation property is empty, and burglars prefer empty homes. You can ask kind neighbors to bring in your mail and collect any materials left outside the garage or entranceway. Conscientious neighbors will notify the police in case of intruders or any type of emergency; there are plenty of inspiring stories about alert next-door residents and how they stopped a robbery in progress.
Shut the Windows & Close the Curtains
Leaving the first-floor curtains wide open for anyone who wants to peep in is a great way to invite burglars to survey your rooms – especially when your property is unoccupied. They can take inventory of where your most valuable possessions are located, such as jewels, artwork, and technology, as well as figure out the most efficient routes through your home. Why provide burglars with incentive and opportunity to plan their perfect heist?
In general, it is recommended not to leave any precious items within view through a glass door or window. This particular tip for vacation home security holds true whether the property is occupied or not. Even when someone is staying there, it is best if they keep their valuables tucked out of sight, and draw the curtains of the ground floor windows when they are not home. Also, you may want to consider installing a home safe for guests to use.
Be Smart with How You Lock the Doors
Smart locks are a fantastic feature to include in every vacation home security plan. These locks enable keyless entry, so you can monitor who enters your property and when. Even better, you can reprogram the smart locks to remove your guests’ access to the residence after their vacation stay is finished. Smart locks also do away with the need to leave a key for your guests if they arrive at an odd hour when nobody can be there to let them in. The risky, old-fashioned practice of finding a creative hiding spot and leaving a spare key under your flower planter is over!
Pay Attention to the Peephole
Peepholes provide anyone on the inside of your home with a fast and efficient way to check who is on the other side of the door, so they don’t open up to a complete stranger. However, not all peepholes are made the same. Gone are the days of the miniature, no-frills circular lens that gave residents a magnified and distorted view of whoever came to visit. The modern peephole is a smart doorbell camera that is fully integrated into your vacation home security system. It will provide you with a clear and full perspective of whoever is at the door.
What about when nobody is home? Instead of putting your eye to the door, you can just glance at your smartphone screen and see who’s there. Other features include the capability to unlock the front door from the same screen and conduct a two-way conversation with visitors through your app. Smart doorbell cameras can also link with your motion-activated lighting and illuminate the lawn or entranceway instantly. These impressive gadgets are a critical part of your state-of-the-art vacation home security.
Install Deadbolts & Interior Hinges
Did you know that approximately 33% of all burglars enter through the front door? Nowadays, traditional door locks rank on the weaker end of tools for top-notch vacation home security. All types of regular locks can be picked and broken easily. In comparison, deadbolt locks are a considerably stronger method of keeping the doors shut. Installed deeper into the door frame, deadbolts offer much more resistance if someone attempts to break in by striking the door. Also, you should place hinges on the inside frame of the door, so burglars cannot knock out the hinge pins.
Use Motion Sensors
Motion-activated lights will startle any intruders prowling around in the darkness. And if any of your responsible neighbors see these lights going on and off when nobody is supposed to be renting the place, they can alert the local authorities to check on your property. The best placement for these lights with motion detection technology is in hard-to-reach spots so that nobody can tamper with them.
Take Advantage of Smart Lighting
It is a wise move to install smart lights by the front and back doors to enhance the visibility of who is coming and going, as well as throughout your home. You can program smart lights to turn on and off at specific hours or intervals. An effective strategy is to set the lights to mimic a natural lighting pattern when nobody is living in the house. Not only will this discourage intruders from entering, but if any burglars do break in, they will see lights on in different areas of the house, which can create an appearance that someone is actually home and wandering about.
Publicize Your Alarm System
No, we’re not talking about hanging a fake “Beware of Dog” sign. Hands-down, a vacation home security system with sophisticated technology can drastically decrease your risks of being the victim of a burglary or vandalism. And when robbers read signs announcing that a property is well-protected, they tend to move on to an easier target. The best way to optimize this tactic is by posting prominent stickers and signs that publicize the presence of an alarm system.
Set Up Surveillance
Why wonder what’s going on when you can see your property for yourself? No matter where you are, you can watch your vacation home in real-time via live feeds and on a single screen. Along with the option of continuous streaming, you can also receive instant alerts and see immediately why your alarm went off.
The majority of surveillance cameras today can be controlled remotely, so it is a snap for you to adjust the pan/tilt camera angles or save a clip, depending on your needs. Without taking a break from your busy work schedule or needing to interrupt your beach vacation on the other side of the world, you can manage your smart-home video monitoring via computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Most guests feel uncomfortable with the idea that they are being watched. It feels like a violation of their privacy – even if your intentions are virtuous, and you are only installing outdoor cameras to upgrade your vacation home security. A good way around this is to communicate openly with your guests. Be sure to inform them about the presence of these security cameras and exactly where they are located. This type of transparent information will calm any fears that they may have that you are viewing their every move, while also helping them to feel more confident and relaxed during their stay.
Trim the Trees
Lovely landscaping definitely improves the curb appeal of your vacation home. However, if trees and shrubbery surround your property, it is essential to keep all the greenery well pruned. Plan the landscaping in a way that minimizes dark, shadowy spots and maximizes a clear view of your entire property. Although they may be picturesque, shady nooks make great places for an intruder to hide and stake out your property. Besides, tall trees can be climbed, thereby offering access to second-floor windows; make sure not to let the plants grow out of control.
Another landscaping tip is to plant some dense and thorny bushes or hedges close to the walls of your house. Prickly evergreens and shrubs with spiny thorns can be used beneath your windows to construct a hazardous natural fence that prevents anyone from creeping too close to your property.
Make a Noisy Approach
Instead of paving your driveway and paths with smooth flagstones, consider spreading out a thick layer of gravel. When people walk across gravel, they cannot sneak up on your property quietly. While they may not boast the latest high-tech engineering, piles of gravel can efficiently upgrade your vacation home security. Note that many types and color tones of gravel are available, so you can select a version that complements the style of your house and coordinates with the landscaping. Boosting the level of safety does not mean you need to jeopardize the aesthetics of your vacation home.
Fire and Smoke Are Also Threats
When you choose a total system for your vacation home security, remember that burglars and intruders are not the only dangers. Fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide also threaten the safety of your property and guests. Take suitable precautions: install a complete security system with smart home equipment that includes all of these detectors and fit them high up in the corner of each room. Don’t forget to tell your guests about these detectors, so they don’t get shocked when their burning toast sets off an alarm. It is also advised to equip the kitchen with a discretely placed fire-extinguisher, which supplies chefs a quick way to put out any accidental kitchen fires.
Contact Your Leading Security Specialists in the California Region
At Smart Shield Systems, we offer an extensive range of vacation home security options to enhance the safety of your property. We strive to make all of your guests feel relaxed and at home during their stay. We will also design a comprehensive security solution to protect your home when it is unoccupied. For more information about all of our Smart Shield Systems products and services, contact our trained security specialists to book a consultation and get a free quote.