Empty homes are a lure for thieves, who can have “free rein”, especially if they are in a remote place. Thus, it is advisable to take security measures to prevent theft in rental holiday homes, which may be unoccupied for certain periods in the low season or left empty most of the day when guests are staying in high season.
What are the risk factors in holiday homes?
Highly technological and valuable equipment
One of the biggest attractions of holiday homes is their equipment: small appliances which are easy to transport and are in many cases top-of-the-range; for example, microwaves, kettles, kitchen robots or smart TVs.
In addition, guests themselves often travel with expensive products: from jewellery and cash, to tablets, laptops, cameras or even drones.
Holiday homes are a juicy prize for thieves, especially because of the high-tech devices that can be found in them.
Periods when the home is empty
Most burglaries occur when the holiday rental home is empty, which is quite common in the low season. Even when there are guests staying, they often spend long hours out on the beach, in the mountains, or on city tours; so this is ideal for crooks, who can usually pick their time.
Also, collaboration from neighbours is more difficult, as the coming and going of guests mean they may have difficulty identifying any strangers hanging around the house.
Finally, many holiday homes are located in relatively isolated places where there is not much movement. This long-awaited search for tranquillity can be an advantage for opportunistic thieves.
As we have seen, a robbery does not usually occur spontaneously; thieves often watch the house for days beforehand to find out the schedules of the guests to plan their theft. This is when they will check all the security devices and, if they think it too difficult, will abandon the attempt altogether.
What security measures can be implemented in a rental holiday home?
So what measures can be implemented in a holiday home to deter thieves? Here are some ways to protect your investment and avoid a reputational crisis with theft from your own premises.
The first and most obvious option is a burglar alarm, one of the most effective measures to deter thieves. However, a burglar alarm is not very practical when guests are staying in a holiday home, as they are often complex to use and guests usually do not want to have to bother with such things during their holidays. In addition, the alarm must not be linked to security cameras that can violate the privacy of guests and make them feel intimidated.
Therefore, a burglar alarm is a good idea only during periods when the holiday home is empty.
Even though alarms are not the most appropriate solution when there are guests, electronic locks and remote management systems for a holiday home are ideal for such cases.
The Rent&Pass access control lock for holiday homes is managed online for a simpler and more secure process, for both guests and the owner. Its operation is simple: the owner provides a unique access code for the guests, who can access it from their mobile phone only for the period in which they have booked. This also has the advantage that their arrival can be autonomous, without the owner having to be there.
Another highly advantageous feature of the system is that permission can be granted to other people, such as cleaners, and only at particular times of the day. Each access event can also be recorded, and a record of entries for each lock and user compiled.
Security and control are further increased by real-time alert notifications.
The interesting thing about this system is that, as well as having advantages, it also minimises risks: e.g. there are no keys to copy, lose or even “hide” near the door or entrance (a clearly bad practice).
Lighting is another deterrent for thieves, as they are less active in broad daylight. Therefore, at night, the area should be well lit. Permanent lighting can be avoided by installing motion-sensitive luminaires, a “surprise factor” that can expose criminals and scare them off.
Once doors are secured with electronic locks, it is not a bad idea to consider equipping the windows with tamper protection sensors. And, of course, even with this technology, guests should be reminded to close the property's doors and windows properly.
Using home automation to make the house look inhabited
Another subtle and effective technique is to use home automation to make it look as if someone is at home, by turning on lights at night or putting the television on, for example. Of course, uniform schedules should be avoided.
Protect your holiday home with insurance
Finally, if all these resources fail against the sophisticated methods of thieves, it is a relief to have the home insured. Receiving compensation for objects stolen is useful, as it must be remembered that sometimes these objects may belong to the guests themselves.