Keeping Vacant Homes Safe
If you are the lucky owner of a holiday home, a string of rental properties or maybe you simply travel a lot, leaving your own home vacant for periods of time, then you know that this comes with a series of concerns and responsibilities.
It is your responsibility to maintain the property and continuously ensure that your property is safe from crime, burglaries and vandalism – a feat that is further complicated by the fact that you may not physically be on the property on a daily or even weekly basis.
Holiday rentals are getting ever more popular in the UK. The past decade has seen an increase of 1.7 million holiday properties nationwide. With the increase use of sites such as Air BnB many non-traditional cities are also seeing visitors choose private holiday rentals as an alternative to hotels.
If you currently travel a lot leaving your house vacant for periods of time, own a holiday home or are considering investing in one, Lead Element Security will offer you some advice about how to protect your rental or vacant property with necessary security procedures:
CCTV cameras offer you the possibility of monitoring your home or rental properties remotely from any location. Especially at remote properties away from neighbours, CCTV cameras can provide you with peace of mind, so you don’t have to visit your property on a daily basis.
CCTV also often has a preventive effect on criminals because they know the records can be used as evidence in court.
It is advisable to invest in an alarm system. Alarm systems will notify you, a trusted neighbour or a private security firm who can respond to incidents if triggered. When dealing with alarm systems, it is important to have regular service checks to ensure alarms are working at all times.
Automatic sensor lights are an extra defence against trespassers and provide the impression that your home or rental property is being monitored. When triggered, they will make hiding more difficult by emitting powerful beams of light.
For rental properties it is wise to invest in a secure key safe that can be opened using a PIN code. Too often spare keys are hidden in flowerpots or under doormats, making it easier for burglars to gain access.
Secure doors, windows and any other openings that could allow easy access to your home or rental property with quality locks. Too often we see open windows or doors in especially the Summer time. Outdoor storage areas should also be securely locked and equipment such as ladders and expensive tools should safely locked away.
Unplugging and switching off all electrical equipment can prevent the likelihood of overheating and thus prevent a fire. Check that fire alarm batteries are fully charged and test that they work, especially in the winter when temperatures can affect alarm functionality.
For rental properties it is important to drain all your pipes before you vacate the property for long periods of time, or simply turn off the water supply. During cold winters your holiday home should have a fully operational, thermostat-controlled central heating system that is set to maintain a minimum constant temperature of five degrees Celsius including the attic. By heating the house, you will stop unfortunate occurrences like freezing pipes and damp.
Keys with Trusted Contacts
When leaving your home vacant during summer holidays or extended periods of travel, it could be a good idea to leave a key with a trusted neighbour, family member or friend. Ideally choose someone who lives nearby or engage a private security company, so that if any incidents do occur, they can swiftly attend to your home. This could also serve as a deterrent for criminals as the house will look as though it’s being lived in.
Regular Mobile Patrols
If you own a string of rental properties, it could be worth considering hiring a private security company to conduct Mobile Patrols. Regular checks on your property, not just when there are people staying in it, but throughout the year, will ensure that your holiday home is less likely to be broken into.
Lead Element Security provides SIA-licensed, uniformed Mobile Patrol Officers in patrol vehicles to monitor your vacant home or rental property. All our vehicles are equipped with CCTV and trackers capturing everything on our patrols. We provide random patrols at irregular hours, covering perimeters, access points and identified weak points.
Our Mobile Patrol Officers will conduct rapid response to alarm situations, conduct varied patrols of the exterior of homes, turning off non-essential lighting, checking and securing windows and doors, and resetting alarms if needed.
To find out more about how we can help keep your home or rental property safe with Mobile Patrol Units in combination with Physical Patrols, please contact us.