11 essential tips to keep your holiday home safe

Posted May 4th, 2023 by SimpliSafe

Own a holiday home that you rent out to guests? Follow our holiday home security tips to keep your home and guests safe whilst they’re on their travels.

Owning an idyllic holiday home with stunning views is something many aspire to. However, holiday homes are far from exempt when it comes to potential break-ins, floods and other disasters that could damage your property. In fact, crime in the UK is so varied, that it’s worth checking your area to see how prominent break-ins can be.

Plus, if you rent your property out as holiday accommodation, you’ll have to take extra care to ensure your guests are safe.

At this point, you may be wondering how to keep your holiday home as safe as it can possibly be. Fortunately, we have plenty of tips to help keep your home safe no matter what crops up. Whilst our tips are very similar to protecting your home when you're on holiday, we have extra tips holiday homeowners can highly benefit from. Let’s dive in.

Why holiday home security is important

It goes without saying that home security, whether a holiday home or otherwise, is incredibly important to keep your property and other possessions safe. So if you plan to put your home on Airbnb, there are a few things you need to be aware of, particularly as your holiday home could become a target. Here are a few reasons why holiday home security is especially important.

1. Holiday homes may be prime targets

A holiday home that may not be fully booked all year round could be more susceptible to eyes from those wishing to gain unauthorised access. 

Another reason holiday homes could be prime targets is that homeowners might kit them out with some of the more expensive appliances, furniture etc. Whilst this is to increase the quality of a guest’s stay, this could inadvertently attract thieves too. 

Finally, with a lot of holiday homes being in rural or quieter neighbourhoods, burglars may go unnoticed, especially if guests (and even the homeowners themselves) are unfamiliar with the area.

2. Holiday home guests may also be targets

In the event of a break-in, leak, flood or similar, guests staying at your holiday home may have their safety compromised. This is why the right measures to protect against these instances are incredibly important for holiday homes to be as safe as possible. Some of these measures involve investing in a bespoke home security system that’s tailored to your holiday home and its specific blind spots.

Plus, home security when on holiday is probably the last thing on your guests’ minds - they’re there to enjoy the stay, after all. Your aim as a holiday homeowner is to make it easy for them to relax and unwind, knowing they’re in a safe space.

3. Neighbours may not know what to look for

Neighbours may know who you are, but ultimately, a holiday home will have guests in and out frequently. Whilst you can take steps to show them who’s expected to stay, they can’t always be present to check and may even mistake someone for a guest when they’re actually a burglar.

Tips to keep your holiday home safe

Keeping your holiday home safe isn’t too dissimilar from our home security holiday checklist. However, as holiday homeowners, there are some extra precautions you may want to take. Here are all the things to check inside and outside of your holiday home to keep it safe.

Inside the property

1. Change all of the locks

If you’ve just bought your holiday home, it’s worth changing locks that grant access to a property, as there’s still a small chance someone has keys to the property.

2. Lock everything

Whether it’s occupied or empty, a holiday home should have all of its windows shut and locked when they’re not being used. This can be an easy step to miss, so if you have someone else with you, get them to double-check.

3. Check your locks for functionality

If they’re loose or look worse for wear, get them replaced. You may need key-operated window locks if you don’t have them already - especially for windows in easy-to-reach places from the outdoors.

4. Replaced lost keys

Lost the keys for windows, doors and other access points to your holiday home? Get new keys cut for them as soon as you can. You may need to employ the help of an MLA-licensed locksmith to make you a new key if you’ve lost the original set.

5. Don’t hide keys

Burglars know all the spots to check, so don’t make it easy for them. If you have a self-entry holiday home, consider a key safe instead. Just be sure to change the combination every time new guests arrive at the property!

6. Test your smoke detectors

It’s important to install and maintain smoke detectors by law, even if you think you’ve fireproofed your home. Accidents happen, so having fully functional smoke detectors could literally save lives.

7. Ask guests to practice security measures

Supply your guests with a handbook on how to keep the holiday home safe for their safety, as well as yours. Include details on what to lock and where to leave keys at the end of their stay too. Plus, if you think they’ll wonder how to keep their belongings safe while travelling, provide a list of safe places in your property (you can refer to our top tips for hiding valuables at home guide for inspiration).

8. Don’t leave garden tools out

These objects may be used to break into your holiday home. Think ladders, shovels and other tools synonymous with gardens. 

9. Secure outdoor storage

This also includes garages if you have one. Lock them with heavy-duty padlocks so they can’t be easily accessed.

10. Use an ultraviolet pen

Should any garden tools or furniture get stolen, having your postcode written on them with an ultraviolet pen can help with tracking them down.

11. Consider your foliage

Tall and/or prickly bushes are great burglar deterrents. Don’t have any in your garden currently? There are lots of plants you can choose from and incorporate into your garden security plan.

How to secure your holiday home

Now that you’re clued up on what to check within your holiday home, here are some ways to strengthen your security.

1. Keep your neighbours in the loop

We touched on keeping neighbours in the loop previously. Whilst this isn’t 100% reliable, it’s better than nothing at all. 

2. Install outdoor security cameras

For added security, particularly on the outside of your holiday home, installing outdoor security cameras can help act as a deterrent in themselves. Plus, if intruders get close, you can warn them off with the built-in spotlight. If there’s anything burglars hate - it’s drawing attention to themselves.

3. Photograph everything

Photograph the state of every room and object in your holiday home. That way, if your guests tamper with them or there’s a break-in, you have evidence of everything in-situ. This evidence may be useful if you need to raise a claim with your insurance.

4. Consider a bell box

A bell box is a great deterrent for burglars. Its blaring 105db outdoor siren and flashing red LED light are enough to inform surrounding neighbours. The siren’s replaceable battery lasts up to 12 months, which you can make last by adjusting the volume on the bell box through the app.

5. Check your insurance

Home insurance, surprisingly, isn’t a legal requirement. Not having it can leave your holiday home vulnerable - not to mention the reparation could be costly.

If you have insurance, it’s worth checking the policy for the excess fees involved, and what’s covered (as well as what’s not). 

In the unfortunate incident a guest you allow to stay in your holiday home does empty it of its contents, ensure your policy covers theft by people lawfully within your home.

6. Install a video doorbell

A video doorbell is fantastic for seeing who’s at the front door. If you notice it’s your guests, then you can carry on with your day. If it’s someone you don’t recognise, or they have no business being at your property, you can take the necessary steps to alert your neighbours, guests and even the authorities if need be.

7. Keep lights on

If your holiday home is vacant for a period of time, then you may wish to leave some lights on to mimic the effect of someone being home. You can even advise this on your home security guidelines you leave for guests whilst they’re staying too. If you think you’ll forget to leave the lights on, consider having them on a timer.

You can go the extra mile and install a porch light, which you can set to turn on when someone approaches the property. It not only acts as a light source when trying to enter your holiday home, but also as a burglar deterrent.

8. Protect against flood damage

Flood damage, pipes bursting, and natural disasters can’t always be avoided. Water sensors are the perfect device to add to your security system as they can help detect the early signs of leaks and floods before you’ve realised they’re happening. If your holiday home is equipped with a dishwasher or washing machine, consider placing water sensors near them. They’re also useful around hot water heaters or any exposed pipes (decorative or otherwise).

9. Install glassbreak sensors

Glassbreak sensors are the perfect accompaniment to a holiday home security system, particularly if a burglar suspects the home is vacant. They’re designed to detect the distinct sound of glass being shattered and immediately trigger an alarm. Couple this with your security cameras, and you can quickly catch what’s happening in your holiday home.

10. Have a panic button at the ready

Under no circumstances is it okay for guests to feel unsafe. A panic button is a last resort your guests can utilise to trigger an alarm in the event they feel unsafe. The alarm can be audible or silent to trigger emergency services with our professional monitoring. Again, we highly recommend coupling this with a comprehensive home security system to record any incidents that may occur.

We hope these holiday home security tips have helped you think about ways to keep your home secure, reduce the risks and keep guests safe. Need a holiday home security system? Contact SimpliSafe today and our team will happily assist you.