Every year, countless people lock their windows, pack up their things, load their cars, and leave their beach-front getaways and ski chalets for the real world. As they return to reality, they may find themselves wondering if their vacation home will be safe until their return. While there is no guarantee – since weather, nature, and other people are unpredictable – there are several steps that homeowners can take to protect their property. According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times, the following ideas can help protection remain, even when home owners are gone for the season.
Hire a Caretaker
A live-in caretaker will offer a vacation home a great deal of protection. Not only will a live-in deter thieves, but they can also help monitor a home for issues like weather damage, busted pipes, leaky roofs, and pest infestation.
Watch the News
If a vacation home sits empty, home owners may help ease grief, time, and money by being vigilant. Watching the area news or reading the papers for things like flooding, hail damage, or forest fires may help stop the damage to a home before it gets too severe.
Put Lamps and TVs on Timers
Putting both lamps and televisions on timers will present the façade of someone being home. Timers that are activated by sunlight can help assure that lamps go on even during power outages.
Use Your Neighbors
Even in the most desolate areas, year-long residents still exist. Ask these residents to sporadically check in on the home to make sure everything looks okay. Asking them to remove things like phone books, packages, and flyers will help make sure a home doesn’t look abandoned.
Don’t Advertise your Absence
While telling some people, especially local law enforcement, that a house will be empty for the season is fine, don’t advertise it. In other words, don’t leave a message on the answering machine that says something along the lines of, “We are gone for the season! Please leave a message and we’ll return it in nine months!”
Advances in technology have greatly increased the security potential of a home. Not only are burglar alarms a smart investment, but water, temperature, and freeze alarms are as well. These alarms can be programmed to call landlines or cell phones in the event the system detects something amiss.
Consider Supplemental Insurance
It is likely that a vacation home will have homeowner’s insurance. However, purchasing supplemental insurance – such as hurricane insurance for water-front homes – may be a smart idea. This will offer a homeowner more financial protection in the event of a disaster.
On the bright side, many vacation homes are in hidden areas (such as in the mountains). This may seem inviting to a burglar – having no one nearby means no one can interrupt them as they load a stolen TV into their van. However, the actuality is that many burglars are simply too lazy to travel far away. Instead, thieves typically prefer crimes of opportunity in areas where they can blend in
Just like a house that is lived in regularly, a vacation home isn’t guaranteed to be protected even when the homeowners are vigilant and proactive. However, the above can help a vacation home stay as safe and secure a possible.
About the Author
Jesse Walters is a freelance home improvement blogger, and calls Houston, Texas his home. To buttress his home’s security, he recently consulted with several Window Companies in Houston, and is now confident that a window renovation project will keep his home is safe from burglaries.