With summer just around the corner, you may be just getting ready to go out and enjoy your cabin or summer home. You may not want to think about leaving already, however, when your time at your summer cabin or vacation home is over and you must regretfully leave it to return to your primary home, you will want to be certain that your summer home is secure. Ensuring that your home away from home is not sitting vulnerable to vandals, burglars, or extreme winter weather, will give you peace of mind during the winter months. There are several measures you can take to accomplish this.
Secure the Doors and Windows
If you don’t have high-quality locks on your doors and windows, you should install them. In comparison with the normal 1” bolt, a 2” bolt on a deadbolt lock slides farther into the wood, making it more difficult for a would-be robber or vandal to break in without attracting attention.
You can reinforce the wood around the door with steel angle iron. Metal strike plates around locks and door handles also reinforce the wood. You should also replace door frames with that are often thin pieces of wood that could be pried apart. Instead, install a heavier wood frame and door or even a metal one. Security rolling doors also can be used here and offer the most secure protection against unwanted entry.
French doors and sliding doors can be secured with slide locks. Another idea is to use a foot lock to jam doors to the back or side of your house that is less visible to the street and to neighbors.
To secure windows, install a security shutter lock like a hinged hasp lock. One part of these locks attach to the window sill or frame and the other part attaches to the window. To further secure windows, look for commercial or residential security roller shutters that resist being pried open and install them.
Combining a smart lock with a smart home monitoring system allows the lock to signal the system of attempts at unauthorized entry. In addition to signaling your security system provider, your home system can also send an alert to your cell phone.
In addition, small security cameras are easy to conceal. They are enclosed in weatherproof cases, and they are activated by motion sensors. They take pictures at night using infrared flashes that even skittish wild animals fail to notice, and they can transmit the image of anyone approaching your property to your cell phone. Some automatically record over old images so that you won’t even need someone to change the memory card unless you need the original images for the investigation of an actual break-in.
Securing Your Home Against Storms
All of these steps you take to secure your doors and windows against burglars and vandals also make our home more secure in the event of a hurricane or other severe storm. Again, with aluminum security rollshutters, the damage to your home can be greatly minimized. Accordion hurricane Shutters provide superior protection and ease of use, with no lifting. Accordion hurricane shutters cost vary according to site conditions and space. These storm shutters are more convenient. Security rollshutters offer a set-it-and-forget-it option for protection against severe weather when installed over all doors and windows.
Someone to Watch Over Your Home
Having someone check on your home on a regular, and preferably frequent, basis is one step to achieving the lived-in look. That person can remove flyers, sale ads, doorknob hang tags, phone books, and anything else that shows up at your door. That person should know how to contact you if your home is burglarized or damaged in some way. That person also should know how to disarm and arm your home security system so that they can check the interior of your home for issues such as a burned out lightbulb on a light that is on a timer or a plumbing leak.
Your trusted neighbors should also know how to contact you and the person who is checking on your house, and they should know the schedule for your lawn care service and the timing for any repairs that need to be done. If they notice that someone is at your house when no one should be, or that someone who is supposed to be there takes an unusually short or long time, or if they notice anything else that appears suspicious, they can notify you and your home’s designated caretaker.
Achieving That Lived-In Look When No One Is Home
Having someone check on your home on a regular basis is one step toward maintaining its lived-in look, but that person can’t be there 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Placing some of the lights in your home on sunlight-sensitive timers that mimic your usual routine as you move about your home in the evening is always a good idea. You can also purchase automated systems with sunlight-sensitive timers that will open and close your drapes at appropriate times. Experts also recommend leaving the light above your range on day and night because kitchens tend to have lights on more often than any other room. Placing your television and/or a radio set to an all talk radio station on a timer adds to the illusion that someone is home.
If you have security rollshutters these can be set on timers and through your phone. This will allow you to raise and lower the shutters at regular intervals making it seem like someone is home during the day.
Making sure that the exterior of your home is well lit at night also signals that someone is home or expected home shortly. At the minimum, you should light each entrance to your home and the entrances to your garage. To discourage a burglar from removing the lightbulb, mount the light so high that you need a ladder to reach it, and control it with a sunlight-activated timer.
Using solar-powered, sunlight-activated lights along the walk leading to your door and even along your driveway puts potential burglars on display. If you have a deck or patio, light it as well. Moderately bright lighting is sufficient to discourage a burglar, and, since it is also the most attractive level of exterior lighting for homes, it adds to the resell value of your home.
A Few More Tips
Remember to have your mail forwarded to your primary address, and stop any other regular deliveries. Make arrangements to have utility bills and other regular payments automatically withdrawn from a bank account, or pay them regularly online.
If you have a landline, set the ringer on low or turn it off. Make sure that the message on your answering machine says that you are “unable to come to the phone” or that you are “unable to take the call” at that moment. Don’t leave a message that says that you “aren’t home.” Use an answering machine that allows you to listen to your messages and delete them remotely, and remember to check your messages. Don’t let your answering machines message storage system become full.
If security rolling shutters aren’t an option, don’t leave tempting expensive or valuable items in sight through windows. Take small items with you when you leave. Put art objects in a closet or a climate-controlled storage facility. Store watercraft, ATVs, expensive sports equipment, bicycles, motorcycles, or golf carts in a locked garage with your car and block any windows in your garage, which can also be secured with high security roller shutters; or put all of these items, including your car, into a locked storage facility.
Burglaries are usually crimes of opportunity, and burglars want to be in and out fast without being on display or calling attention to their presence. If a home is well-lighted, appears inhabited and difficult to enter, and doesn’t appear to have anything to take that is worth the risk, the burglar will move on to an easier, more lucrative target.