Maine is a great place to vacation for you and your family. With miles of rocky coastline, sandy beaches, islands, lighthouses and lobster shacks – there’s always a reason for a return trip.
But don’t let your happy memories get spoilt by leaving your second home vulnerable while it’s empty. It’s easy to think that an idyllic location is virtually crime free. However, this could be a costly mistake.
Here we look at five ways to keep your second home safe when your fun in the sun is done and it’s time to head home.
1. Locks on your doors and windows
Invest in good quality locks for your doors and windows to increase your security, and make sure you close and lock them properly. Install deadbolt locks where possible.
Pay particular attention to ground floor windows, plus your front and back exterior doors – those places where a burglar would typically try to gain entry to your property.
2. A 24/7 monitored alarm system
Having an alarm can be a good deterrent for burglars. They’re often enough for them to think twice, particularly if your system is being monitored around the clock. It will also give your holiday home that added level of security to help put your mind at ease when you’re not around.
3. Connected CCTV cameras
Again, a burglar may be less likely to break into your property if CCTV is on show. Security cameras that send real-time video to smartphones and tablets could be worth the investment for more protection. Plus, smart doorbells that video anyone approaching the house are another layer of security to discourage unwanted intruders.
4. Lighting inside and out
You can give your second home that ‘lived-in look’, even when it’s empty.
You might want to think about installing motion-sensor outdoor lights. Or being able to control your indoor lights by remote, or setting them to a timer for a couple of hours each evening. Any of the above can be enough to spook burglars and make them reconsider their options.
5. Leak detectors
Burglary isn’t the only threat to an empty home. Leaks from burst pipes, particularly in cold weather, or malfunctioning central heating systems, can cause water damage and even start a flood. As well as insulating pipes and maintaining your heating systems, you could consider a leak detector to stay on top of those early warning signs.
Some final holiday housekeeping tips
While you will want to share your vacation photos with friends and family, avoid announcing to the world that you’re leaving your vacation home on social media. It’s not something you want to make public knowledge!
It’s always a good idea to leave a key with a neighbor you trust or a friend in the local area too. They’ll be able to gain access quickly, assess any damage and even fix small problems for you if you can’t get there straight away.
Finally, letting out your second home is always a good way to deter criminals – it means it’s occupied for more of the year, and you can also put some of your rental earnings back into property maintenance and other security measures.
But if you are thinking of putting it up as a summer rental, ask your Varney agent to check that you’re covered – it could affect some of the conditions of policy.
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