Your vacation home should be a place of tranquility and relaxation — and when you can’t be there, it should bring peace of mind, not worry. However, it may become a source of stress if you’re concerned about its security when you’re not there. We’ve come up with a few vacation home security tips to help you protect your vacation property from afar.
1. Meet the neighbors
Your neighbors can be an incredible asset when it comes to keeping your vacation home safe. Walk over and introduce yourself as soon as you move in, or invite them over to learn a little about the neighborhood from people who already live there. They may be able to give you insights on life in the new community, and you may get a sense of who is present year-round.
Once they get to know you and your family, they’ll look forward to seeing you, and they’ll notice if suspicious people or vehicles show up at your home. Exchange information with your neighbors, especially if they live in the area full time. They can be your eyes and ears while you’re away, and you can offer to do the same for them.
2. Invest in a smart home security system
The best security system for a vacation home is one with smart home technology, so you can check in on it remotely. An integrated home security system is an excellent investment for any home, but it’s a must for a vacation property. If you’re away from the house for long periods of time, a smart home security system like Xfinity Home can give you the peace of mind that comes with 24-hour professional monitoring, WiFi-enabled cameras that you can livestream on your mobile devices, and real-time notifications, no matter where you are. Here are a few smart home security features that are ideal for vacation homeowners:
- Smart locks. These allow you to secure your locks from anywhere using your smartphone or another device, so there’s no need to worry you forgot to lock the door on your way out of town. You can even set temporary codes for friends or relatives who come to visit you. If you have renters, it will also allow you to have a vacation rental keyless entry system.
- Video monitoring and recording. Keep an eye on your property from the comfort of your bedroom — or from hundreds of miles away — with a vacation home security system. Set custom alerts to let you know if someone approaches the front door while you’re away. You can check the live feed from your security camera to evaluate the situation and then decide whether to notify the authorities.
- Smoke detectors. You won’t be able to hear a traditional smoke alarm go off when you’re not there, but a smart smoke detector will send you an instant notification to your smartphone. If you pair your smoke detector with your home security system, a security professional can contact you and dispatch authorities if necessary.
- Smart thermostats. Activate the air conditioning from your smartphone so your house is perfectly cool when you arrive. You can also monitor the temperature remotely, keeping an eye on any weather-related concerns.
3. Make your home look lived-in
Would-be thieves often target homes when it looks like the owners are away. One of the best ways you can avoid break-ins and property crimes is to avoid having a vacation home that looks abandoned. Here are a few ways to keep your home looking like someone lives there, even when you don’t:
- Get a P.O. box. Make sure the mail delivery person isn’t leaving mail and packages to pile up on your front porch. Many planned vacation communities have central mailrooms where you can go and pick up your mail. Check to see what your options are.
- Set timers on your lights. A house that’s dark day after day can draw the wrong kind of attention. Avoid making your house appear vacant by adding smart home lights. These lights pair seamlessly with your Xfinity Home system. You can turn on lights from your mobile device and set timers, so your lights turn on and off automatically every day.
- Keep your yard tidy. An overgrown lawn is a dead giveaway that you aren’t around — and it may even be against your Homeowner’s Association regulations. Whether you hire a neighborhood teenager or a professional lawn service, make sure someone keeps the grass mowed and the leaves raked.
It may not be your full-time home, but your vacation home should always be a comfortable oasis in your mind. Keep tabs on it from afar, and it will remain a place of tranquility.