Remote Vacation Home Monitoring Can Secure Your Home Away from Home
Commonsense security measures coupled
with a vacation home monitoring system will keep the property safe when you’re
Owning a second home is a dream come true for many families. But how do you keep your property safe and secure when you’re away more often than not? There are several tried-and-true methods you can employ to protect your investment in your absence. And the latest technology in remote vacation home monitoring has even more to offer when it comes to keeping your dream secure.
Installing a vacation home monitoring system is one of the best ways to protect your second home from break-ins and vandalism. Modern, comprehensive security systems don’t just alert you after your home has been broken into—they often prevent break-ins completely. A study by the University of North Carolina found that most burglars check for security systems when selecting homes to rob, and more than half would choose another target if they believed a security system to be present.
And if someone does try to break into your property, today’s security systems can still scare criminals away plus provide police with crucial evidence to catch the perpetrators and potentially recover any stolen items.
Smart security systems give you
options—but they should be coupled with commonsense security steps
The modern security system marketplace offers complete security systems, including set-ups that can be customized to provide you with exactly the features you need, and none you don’t. Some of the most important features that today’s systems provide are monitoring services; 24-hour, on-demand video surveillance; a range of home automation options; and remote access to all included components. But before we detail these solutions, let’s look at a variety of steps—some low-tech and others employing smart technology—to keep your vacation home secure when you’re not there.
People still play a key role in
vacation home security
Even though a vacation home isn’t your primary residence, it’s still a good idea to get to know your neighbors. Once you’ve made some friends and found one or two people whom you can trust, let them know when you’ll be away and ask them to keep an eye on things. Give them your contact information and have them get in touch with you and/or the local authorities if they see something that doesn’t seem right.
It’s also a good idea to find out if there is a local homeowners association or official neighborhood watch group. If so, meet the people in charge and discuss your situation with them. They can let you know if there’s anything you need to watch out for and may be able to keep an extra eye on your property.
In addition, contacting the local police force may provide relevant information. Law enforcement might have extra security tips that are relevant to your specific property and any threats that are common to the neighborhood.
Make it look like you’re home, even
when you’re away
Maintaining a lived-in look in a house that’s only occasionally occupied requires planning, but it’s one of the best things you can do to deter intruders. Make sure you hire services that keep up with yard work and stop all mail and subscriptions that cause newspapers, fliers, and other clues to collect and indicate that no one is living there.
Another smart move is installing window coverings that allow light to filter out but prevent would-be burglars from seeing in. This way, no one can see whether or not anyone is inside or be tempted by an unobstructed view of your valuable items.
Smart home security systems make maintaining the appearance of being home vastly easier. If you have outdoor security cameras installed, you’ll be able to see for yourself whether the lawn needs mowing, the driveway needs shoveling, bushes need trimming, or a storm has left debris in your yard or damaged the exterior of your home.
You can also remotely control and/or automate your lights, radios, and other small appliances with smart light bulbs and wireless smart plugs. Make it appear as though someone is home by setting lights and other equipment to turn off and on at certain times, or by manually controlling them remotely.
For more detail on how smart lighting and automation can make a home look lived in,read this blog.
Illuminate your vacation home’s
lawn—and landscape it for greater security
Keep home security in mind when landscaping your vacation home. Avoid or eliminate tall shrubs in front of windows and doors, and any other landscaping that gives thieves somewhere to hide. Front gates and fences can be effective deterrents to trespassers, but tall privacy fences should be considered carefully, as they can shield anyone who is attempting to break in from public view.
Install exterior lighting that illuminates your home's entry points as well as any dark paths or sheltered areas of the yard. Exterior lights can be solar-powered, placed on a timer, or (using the smart lights mentioned above) automatically or manually turned on via a smartphone. Yard lights tied to motion detectors are also particularly effective.
Install (and use!) reliable locks
Making sure your doors are locked may seem like basic advice, but you might be surprised at how often burglars enter through doors or windows that are left open. It’s important to secure all exterior doors, windows (especially those on the ground floor), and outbuildings with effective locks—such as deadbolts or heavy-duty padlocks for certain doors.
And whatever you do, don’t leave spare keys anywhere on the property. Instead, keep a spare with a trusted friend who lives in the area. Or, better yet, use locks that don’t require a physical key at all.
Smart locks are an effective solution to the spare key problem. Their keypads eliminate both the need to carry keys with you and the risk of losing or forgetting them. You can also create temporary entry codes for people who may need to access your vacation home while you’re away, or simply open and re-lock smart locks right from a mobile device.
Modern technology enables complete
remote vacation home monitoring
Smart security cameras provide a watchful eye—24/7, 365 days a year
Wi-Fi enabled indoor and outdoor video cameras allow you to check on what’s happening at your vacation home in real-time from your phone or computer, no matter where you are. Since knocking on a home’s front door before breaking in is a common tactic, placing a video camera near the front entryway is especially important.
Doorbell cameras like Frontpoint’s Slimline Doorbell Camera allow you to view your front door area at any time and to speak to visitors (invited or not) using two-way audio. Infrared technology makes night viewing possible, while a motion sensor immediately alerts you to unwelcome guests. For other outdoor spaces, Frontpoint’s Wi-Fi Outdoor Camera offers industry-leading detection range.
And if someone enters the property—with or without your knowledge–you’ll be able to remotely view what they do with Indoor Cameras and Premium Indoor Cameras, the latter of which provide a full 180˚ field of view and enhanced zoom capabilities.
Intrusion sensors provide real-time security alerts
In addition to motion-sensitive security cameras, many other sensors can be added to a comprehensive remote vacation home monitoring system. These include:
Door/Window Sensors — These small-yet-powerful wireless sensors are fully compatible with most doors, windows, cabinets, drawers, and just about anything else that opens and closes. Get a phone alert when sensors are triggered or if something is accidentally left open.
Glass Break Sensors — These sensors’ pattern-recognition technology focuses only on the sound of breaking glass and automatically sends an alert when triggered.
Motion Sensors — Use motion sensors to detect motion in large common areas, including rooms with multiple windows.
Garage Door Tilt Sensor can tell if your garage door is open or closed. If it’s left open longer than usual, a notification will be sent so that you can deal with it.
Flood Sensors can detect even the smallest leak and notify you right away, so you can quickly take action to prevent expensive water damage.
Smoke and Heat Sensors — It doesn’t do a lot of good if your smoke alarm goes off but no one’s there to hear it. These advanced sensors detect minor smoke and smoldering fires faster than traditional detectors, and they provide mobile notifications for any emergencies, diagnostic issues, low batteries, or case tampering.
Customized vacation home security
packages are available for different needs
Installing a complete home security system that can be monitored remotely provides tremendous peace of mind and can alert you to any issues as soon as they arise.
There is a wide selection of packages (ranging from the Safe Home Starter to the Safe Home Preferred) which contain a mix of equipment that can include a keypad, cameras, door and window sensors, glass break detectors, and smoke and heat detectors, all controlled from the central Frontpoint Hub and your smartphone. Each package can be chosen and customized based on the size of the home and the individual elements that require protection.
Users can record and store up to 1,000 clips from motion-activated Wi-Fi cameras—and can view live footage from any camera. When activated, the cameras record, encrypt, and transmit 15-second clips to web-enabled devices. These clips can be reviewed at any time and shared with law enforcement officers if necessary.
Professional monitoring services for different set-ups ensure that you never miss a mobile security alert. You can rest assured that your vacation home is being monitored 24 hours a day by highly trained professionals with rapid access to emergency responders. Frontpoint’s professional monitoring service also provides fire, environmental, and life safety emergency monitoring at no extra charge—potentially saving lives and minimizing damage in the event of a fire or flooding caused by issues like burst pipes.
Modern technology has revolutionized security, making remote vacation home monitoring not only possible, but simple. A comprehensive home-away-from-home security system protects against intrusion and damage, so you can rest easy—even when you’re not on vacation.
Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.