Having a second home can provide you with lots of wonderful opportunities, but second homeownership can also be quite stressful. Because you spend less time at your second home, it can be much harder to keep an eye on it. However, there are still plenty of ways to make your second home more secure. Following this advice can help to give you peace of mind whenever you are spending time away from your second home.
Remote Security Systems
Having any type of security system fitted to your second home is a great idea, but it is now possible to fit remote security systems to a home as well. These security systems allow the owner to see what is going on from anywhere in the world via the internet. The best remote systems will immediately notify the user if there is any form of the disturbance at the house.
The capabilities of the remote system will depend on how much you are willing to invest in the product. Systems with cameras will allow you to look around different areas of the home to see whether anything unusual is happening. These systems can even pinpoint where the trigger may have occurred. If you cannot see anything that looks amiss at the house, you can choose to silence the alarm. Alternatively, you can contact the police if there still seems to be a problem. If your second home is in a different country, you will need to know how to contact the local police. Remote systems like this can help second homeowners to avoid long journeys to their other home, only to discover that the alarm was triggered by a fox. Having a visible home security system can also help to make the home a less appealing target. However, these systems will normally need to have an active internet signal in order for them to remain useful.
Hire a Management Company
You may want to think about hiring a management company to look after your second home whilst you are away from it. This type of company will hold a key to your home and can go round to your property whenever you need them to. Some homeowners employ management companies to visit on an “as-and-when” basis, whereas others will ask for a representative of the company to visit as part of a routine schedule.
A management company can help to prevent the mail piling up on the doorstep and will make sure that you don’t have a takeaway menu poking out of your letter box for months on end. These are both telltale signs to potential intruders that there is no one staying at the property on a daily basis. The management company can also go in and check your house to make sure there aren’t any leaks or slowly developing problems. They will also be able to reset the internet if a problem has caused you to lose connection with your remote security system. Having someone close to your home to look after it whilst you are away can help to give you real peace of mind. It can also stop you from arriving at your second home, only to be greeted by a huge problem.
That “lived in“ look
If a criminal is watching a home, they will want to see whether it is lived in. Modern technology can be used to make a home look lived in, even if there is no one there for the majority of the year. Timer switches can be used to turn lights on for a set period each day. Apps can be use to turn the sound system on at irregular intervals to create noise in the house. There are even devices which can remotely open and close the curtains at the house. All of these little things can be added together to create the illusion that there is someone staying in the house full time.
Never Leave a Spare Key
Many second homeowners leave a key somewhere outside their property so that they don’t risk being locked out after a long journey. Leaving a key outside is especially common amongst people who rent their home out to other people whilst they are not living there. Although this makes it easier for legitimate visitors to get into the property, it also means that burglars may be able to gain access with almost no trouble at all. Seasoned criminals know all of the most common places to leave a spare key, so they will probably be able to find your key quite easily. If you must leave a key somewhere, leave it with a trusted neighbour.
Secure all Access Points
Whenever you leave your house, take the time to double check that all access points are secure. Thieves will take the chance to exploit any weaknesses to break into a home, so don’t give them any opportunities. Around 30% of all burglaries that occur in the United Kingdom happen through a window. You can add extra locks to your window which prevent them from being opened more than a few inches unless these locks are removed. These locks can be really effective if the would-be burglar manages to crowbar the windows open by breaking the primary lock. Remember to check any basement or garage windows as well, because these can allow easy access. You may want to consider covering basement-level window with a grate to make it even harder for criminals to gain access via this route.
Choose the Right Insurance
It is important that you choose the right insurance for your home. Some insurers will not provide cover for homes that are unoccupied for over 50% of the year, whereas others will ask that you buy special insurance which is specifically designed for second home. You must make sure that you buy the right type of insurance or your property may not be covered if there is a break-in. This could end up costing you thousands of pounds and could cause a lot of stress. If you are in any doubt, check with the insurance provider before you take out a new policy.