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20 Simple Ways to Keep Your House Safe in Portugal

When you find your dream vacation home, safety is of utmost importance, especially since you’re not always going to be there. For many, buying a home in Portugal is the ultimate accomplishment. Here are some of the simplest and most effective home security strategies to prevent vacation home break-ins when you’re in town or away.

  1. Install an Alarm System

Burglars loathe being caught. Alarms will certainly expose their presence; some will even alert the police.

  1. Keep Windows and Doors Secure

Window film prevents outsiders from peeking in. A door brace or deadbolt lock can withstand blunt force, while security bars protect sliding glass doors.

  1. Lock All Doors and Windows

Always lock your windows and doors, even if you step outside briefly. An unlocked door lets a burglar enter without any effort.

  1. Install a Peephole

A door peephole provides a wide-angle view so you can see who is outside. It’s your choice to let someone in or ignore them.

  1. Arm Your Home with Sensors

These include motion detectors to trigger lights or alarms, window sensors that sense when it is opened or closed, and glass break sensors.

  1. Don’t Leave a Spare Key Outside

Burglars know the most likely places spare keys are stored, and don’t put your car key near the letterbox either; an experienced thief can grab it with a hook.

  1. Don’t Post Your Key Online

What’s the point? But people do it, from enthusiastic home buyers to social media influencers flaunting their sponsorships. Nowadays, a house key can be copied using a photo.

  1. Leave the Lights On

Use porch lights, backyard motion-activated lights, and dusk-to-dawn lighting controlled by sensors. Also leave a few lights on inside when you’re not home.

  1. Install a Lower Fence

People often prefer higher fences, but these add more cover to hide. A lower fence can help you spot an intruder.

  1. Use CCTV Cameras

Live video streaming and two-way audio are available; this technology includes smart doorbells you can access from anywhere.

Security camera and home in the evening

  1. Keep the Garage Door Opener Out of the Car

Leaving your garage door opener within sight or in a common hiding place provides an opportunity to find easy entry.

  1. Strategically Place Alarm Signs

A security sign is an effective way to prevent a vacation home break-in, as burglars look for the easiest targets.

  1. Hire a Landscaper While You’re Away

Overgrown grass, weeds, and unkept hedges communicate no one is home; investing in a landscaping service can make your property less inviting to criminals.

  1. Create a Decoy

Burglars like to act quickly. A decoy, such as a box full of costume jewelry and maybe some cash in the bedroom sock drawer, gives them a fast, faux prize.

  1. Don’t Leave Any Belongings Outside

Garden tools, ladders, and other items can be used to break into your home; don’t leave them outside, and lock garages, sheds, and outbuildings.

  1. Install Gravel Driveways and Paths

A less solid surface may need more maintenance, but certainly makes a sound when someone is approaching (not the ideal scenario for a burglar).

  1. Adopt a Dog

Barking is usually an effective deterrent. Get a big dog, and thieves are more likely to stay away.

  1. Answer the Door

See who’s there; if a stranger shows up unexpectedly, don’t let them in. Instruct your kids not to answer the door without your permission.

  1. Close Your Blinds for the Night

It’s easy to see what’s inside at night. Close the blinds to hide what’s going on so you don’t tempt any burglars.

  1. Make Some Noise

Invest in a gadget that mimics TV lights and sounds or that plays clips of people talking. Leaving some music on can help too.

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