A holiday home is a great investment if you want somewhere to get away from the hustle and bustle of a busy life. So keeping your holiday home safe and secure is paramount, especially if it is not occupied for most of the year.
So, what can you do to keep your property safe?
Keep your property under lock and key:
Good security should start with the basics and having a lock and key is important to keep your property safe. But as all property owners know a lock can be easily picked and keys can be copied. When taking on any new property especially a holiday home, make sure you install a lock that bears the Kite symbol (comes under British Standard BS3621) or is classed as a five-lever mortice deadlock. Some insurers may require you to have your windows fitted with key-operated locks to insure the contents of your property over a certain amount. If your property has shutters some insures may ask if they have internal catches.
Alarm systems aren’t a requirement for insurers unless the contents of the property are of high value. But installing one will give you peace of mind. Installing an alarm system is a great way of deterring criminals, however, some alarm systems will activate without anything triggering them, and so you may upset a few neighbours if it goes off and you’re not there to deactivate it. If you do install an alarm system and live far away, consider leaving a key and your alarm code with someone local and who you can trust or have a security firm to monitor your system.
If you’re renting the property during peak season or even out of season, make sure to leave clear instructions on how to operate the alarm and what to do if something does go wrong. Encourage guests to lock all windows and doors before leaving the property for the day. It may also be worth installing a lockbox or small safe so that guests can store their valuables away.
CCTV is a great way of monitoring the perimeter of your property while you’re not there. Reputable security firms can offer and install a range of CCTV systems that would suit your needs. Some CCTV systems can connect to the internet allowing you to remotely monitor your property. If you have a CCTV system installed by a security firm, ask if they do surveillance monitoring.
Security lights are readily available from any DIY store and are an easy solution to deter criminals from your property. Security lights come in a variety of light options and are triggered by movement, making them perfect for making thieves feel like they have been caught in the act. Security lights are very effective if you are in view of other properties.
Time switches are extremely useful for creating the illusion that someone is home – even when they aren’t. If you’re leaving your holiday home empty for a period of time, install time switches to turn lights on during certain times in the evening so that it looks like someone is home.
Be careful of what’s on show:
Thieves will often look through windows and see what is available for them to take. When the property is empty of occupants (whether that is for a short or long period of time) make sure that valuable items such as phones, laptops, money and keys are out of sight. Also when leaving make sure that all windows and doors are locked and any garden tools and ladders are put away and locked out of sight, so that an intruder cannot enter your property.
Speak to your neighbours:
When buying a holiday home, it is always good to introduce yourself to your neighbours. When you talk to them, mention that your property will be unoccupied for long periods of time. When you’re not there, leave contact details with them so that they can get in touch with you if anything happens or there is suspicious behaviour around your property.
Getting the right insurance is important to protect your property. When buying a holiday home, seek specialist advice from a holiday home insurer – whether your property is in the UK or abroad. Many who own holiday homes will seek advice from their main home insurance providers but this would result in adapted policies that would restrict you, especially if your property is going to be empty for months at a time. In the end, it is best to consult with an expert in holiday home insurance who can offer policies to suit holiday homeowners particular needs.
If you would like to know more about our security services or would like to have a free quote, call us on 01656 713950 or visit our website for more details