You have a second home, and that’s a great asset if you need to get away from things occasionally. But you’ve likely got lots of expensive articles at your vacation home like TV’s, furniture, or maybe even another vehicle. It’s hard to think about how frustrating it would be to visit your vacation home for a weekend and find everything gone. So how do you keep tabs on your home and make sure things are safe while you’re away? Here are some tips that we recommend that will provide some peace of mind as you’re away from your vacation home.

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Professionally-Monitored Home Security

Home security systems cost less than you think, and if you have a second home, you can probably afford a professionally-monitored security system. Many top-rated home security companies will have a variety of different packages and ecosystems to choose from. You can choose between do-it-yourself or professional installation options whether you prefer to take the reigns yourself or let a licensed installer do the work. On top of that, many of these systems have features that allow you to monitor your home from a WiFi-enabled device like a smartphone, laptop, or tablet.

These systems come with an array of sensors for your doors and windows that will emit a siren when the system is armed and a door/window is opened. When a sensor is triggered, an alarm will go off and the authorities will be notified that your residence has been broken into. Usually, this is the point the would-be burglars split and try to dodge the authorities. Notification features like text messages are becoming more common among some security systems, so you can expect to receive a message whenever a sensor is triggered depending on your system.

Home Security Cameras

There are many devices on the market that allow you to monitor your home without paying a monthly monitoring fee. These wireless home security cameras can be placed anywhere in your home and can be accessed and viewed as long as there is a WiFi connection. So, naturally, don’t expect to keep tabs on your vacation home unless it has a working internet connection. Like traditional home security systems, these cameras can send you notifications if a movement is detected and you’re not there.

These DIY home security camera systems can be handy, but there are a few downsides. First, these systems are more often than not disconnected from the local police. They mostly serve as a remote video camera, and not much more. With a traditional home security system, the police will be notified of a break-in, not just your smartphone. Secondly, these systems can be expensive. You could spend hundreds of dollars on cameras when you could spend the same amount on several months of professional home security monitoring. Overall, a camera system is a good option, but it’s not the best.

Set Home Automation Devices

Another great thing you can do to prevent burglaries at your vacation home is to make it appear to be lived in. To do this, consider purchasing some home automation devices. These tools can be put on timers to turn lights on and off at regular intervals to make the home appear busy and active. Many burglars will observe a house for several days to be sure no one is around, so if these tools are flipping lights on and off in random intervals, the burglar isn’t likely to take a chance.

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It should be known that many of the home security systems like previously mentioned feature home automation tools. It’s becoming more common among basic home security systems to feature smart home tools like thermostat regulation, remote locking doors, and programmable lights. These can all be managed from a smartphone hundreds of miles away if necessary. Not only does it help to make it look and feel like your vacation home is being actively lived in, but tools like thermostat regulation also helps with energy conservation.

Now What?

These are just a handful of the pros and cons of different systems. Ultimately, the decision is up to you. It’s best to do your research to determine your needs and then act accordingly. The level of security you acquire for your vacation home depends on your budget, how comfortable you are with its location, and what you believe your needs are.

Depending on your needs, you might be considering an array of WiFi-based cameras, some simple home automation tools, or a fully-monitored professional home security system that can offer you both of these functions. Regardless of your choice, there are resources available to you to make the right choice. Websites such as Best Company have done the research to find the best security companies and systems on the market. The rest is up to you.