Keep your vacation home safe with 6 easy tips

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A vacation home should be a relaxing place, a place where you can go to unwind and well, vacation. That’s the point of buying it, so you can have a refuge or a home to escape to when you need a break from the stresses of daily life. But doesn’t it defeat the purpose if it creates additional stress? If it is  something you constantly worry about when you are not there, then it becomes more of a burden. The question is, then, how do you keep your vacation home safe when you are not there? In no particular order, here are six steps to help keep your vacation home secure.

Step 1Install smart smoke detectors throughout the home.

While this won’t help prevent break-ins or intruders, it will provide some peace of mind. With a smart smoke detector from Alder, you can sleep easy knowing that if there is a fire in the home the smoke detector will automatically alert emergency services. Not only will this reduce your stress, but it will also dramatically reduce the response time, likely avoiding major losses of property.Many devices on the market will send an alert to your smartphone as well as any others you may have listed. This is a great feature for a vacation home because you can immediately notify other family members, possibly neighbors, or a property management company. It is important to make sure that your smart smoke detectors have more than one type of sensor so that it detects both slow and fast burning fires as well as carbon monoxide.

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Step 2Smart security system

While to many people this may seem like common sense,  surprisingly few people actually take full advantage of the technology available today. For example, in addition to standard monitors on doors and windows, it is also important to have motion activated cameras to document any intruders or vandalism. You also want to make sure that your cameras stream a live video feed to your phone so you can check on your vacation property in real time right from your smartphone.With a smart security system, you can arm or disarm the system from your smartphone allowing you to make sure that any guests or neighbors that need to access the house can get in when they need to without setting off the alarm. This feature also prevents the need of giving away your security code to multiple parties; they need to get in and you can disarm the system and then when they leave you can arm it again without anyone giving anyone access to your code.

Like the smart smoke detector, you want to make sure that your security system has the capacity to not only notify you on your phone of a possible emergency but is also monitored 24/7 by a live call center that can send out emergency services if needed.

Step 3Lock your doors from anywhere

Smart locks are a necessity for any vacation home. With a smart lock you can completely remove the need for a key. No more leaving guest keys hidden under mats or inside fake rocks because now you can unlock your front door just by using an app on your phone. With smart locks and a keypad you can keep track of who comes into your home and when because you can give each person a unique code. You can also add and remove access very quickly just from your phone in case you need to give someone temporary access. Take for example a friend that is just going to be staying one night, or maybe you’ve rented the home for a week on Airbnb. You don’t want to make extra keys that could get lost or worse, duplicated. With a smart lock, you can give access at specific times or days that will automatically expire after a specified time, taking away their ability to get back in the home.

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Step 4Make it look like someone is home

One of the best ways to deter possible intruders is to make it look like someone is home. Of course, you aren’t going to leave a lamp on all the time in a vacation home, that isn’t possibly or reasonable. One way you make it look like someone is home is by having the lights on a timer. Certain lights go on and off at specified times of day, making it look like you are there. At first glance this is a great idea because lights go on and off, anyone scoping out the house is probably not willing to take the risk. But after a few days of this pattern, someone may catch on.With smart lights you can control the lighting in the whole house right from your smartphone. Imagine that you can turn lights on in one bedroom and then turn lights on in the kitchen and off in living room just from your smartphone. It would be a lot more convincing to a possible intruder that someone was home to see different lights on throughout the house at different times of the day.

Step 5Get a doorbell that does more than just ring

Part of keeping your vacation home secure is knowing what is going on at your home. Many times a potential intruder will come right up to the door and ring the bell to see if anyone is home. If there is no answer, well, they assume that the house is an easy target. An intruder may come by more than once just to make sure the house is truly empty. With a doorbell camera, every time the doorbell rings a live video feed comes up on the screen of your smartphone allowing you to see who is at the door. With some devices you can even speak through your phone into the speaker at your door. The ability to tell someone at the door that you can’t answer because you just got out of the shower or that you just don’t want to answer the door is a great theft deterrent to have! With the lights turning on and off and a real human voice at the front door it is unlikely an intruder will risk breaking in.

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Step 6Good neighbors are the best security system

Take the time to get to know the neighbors surrounding your vacation home. Make friends. Have them over for a bbq and introduce them to your dog. Do whatever you need to do to give them a reason to watch out for your house while you are gone. The more people you have looking out for your property the better the odds it will stay safe. As important as it is to have smart locks and cameras, the real deterrent to possible break-in or vandalism will come in the shape of someone physically checking things out and creating a presence at the property. Don’t have neighbors? Think of maybe hiring a property management company to monitor the property and grounds.What else would you recommend to keep a vacation property safe? Do you have any stories of a potential break-in at your vacation home thwarted because of good security system or concerned neighbors?

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