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.
- Install an Alarm System
Burglars loathe being caught. Alarms will certainly expose their presence; some will even alert the police.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use CCTV Cameras
Live video streaming and two-way audio are available; this technology includes smart doorbells you can access from anywhere.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Adopt a Dog
Barking is usually an effective deterrent. Get a big dog, and thieves are more likely to stay away.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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