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Essential Tips for Securing Your Vacation Home in Miami

a smart lock used to protect homes from the thieves

Essential Tips for Securing Your Vacation Home in Miami

Of the many places people can choose to vacation in the U.S., Miami is always high on the list of destinations. It’s no wonder there are so many vacation homes in the area.

 

If you’ve invested your hard-earned money and precious time into a Miami vacation home, security should be one of your top priorities.

Vacation Home Locations and Crime Rates

According to a report by Today’s Homeowner, in larger cities in the United States, around 1 in 10 homes are vacation homes, with Miami Beach having one of the highest concentrations of vacation homes.

In general, Florida is one of the top spots for vacation homes overall, closely followed by Arizona. 

Tips for Securing Your Vacation Home in Miami

 

As much as Miami Beach is a top vacation spot for both locals and internationals, it isn’t without its flaws.

 

 

NBC Miami reports that Miami Beach has one of the highest crime rates in South Florida and is only preceded by Daytona Beach and Homestead. And, in terms of specific crimes, Miami Beach has one of the highest levels of robbery when compared to other cities. 

 

As much as this is concerning, there are steps vacation homeowners can take to better secure their properties and enjoy greater peace of mind.

 

Tips for Securing Your Vacation Home in Miami

 

Top Tips for Securing Your Miami Vacation Home

At Quickly Locksmith Miami, we regularly help Miami homeowners better secure their vacation homes, providing both them and their guests with greater peace of mind. Here are some of our top recommendations.




Upgrade Your Security System

Investing in a comprehensive security system that includes alarms, motion sensors, and surveillance cameras is one of the first steps you should take to better secure your vacation home in Miami. And, if you want to take things one step further, make sure it’s monitored by a professional security company.

Thankfully, there are a variety of security systems to choose from so it’s easy to find a solution that fits in with your requirements as well as your budget.

If you want to take a more gradual approach to your upgrade, start with your alarm system and one or two cameras in key areas of your home, preferably on the outside. External cameras are an excellent deterrent and can discourage criminals from getting close enough to your vacation home to break in.

However, should they manage to break in, your alarm system will not only alert your neighbors and the authorities, but send intruders running too.

 

Invest in Smart Home Technology

Smart locks, lighting, and cameras can be controlled remotely via your smartphone, allowing you to monitor and control your vacation home from anywhere. This is an excellent way to maintain control over your space.

Most smart technology will provide you with instant alerts, ensuring the authorities or your security company can reach your vacation home as soon as possible. Being able to control your lighting when you’re not around will also provide the illusion that someone is at home.

Another key benefit of smart home technology, locks in particular, is that you can let guests and service providers in and out of your home with ease. You can also monitor how long someone is in your home, ensuring service providers are not overstaying their welcome.

Some of the top smart home technology brands you may want to consider include August, Google Nest, SimpliSafe, and Wyze Labs.

 

Ensure Your Doors and Windows are Secure

Ensure that all entry points are secure with sturdy locks and reinforce them if necessary – deadbolts are always a good option. You should also consider installing security film on windows to make them more resistant to break-ins.

You can even use landscaping to make it more difficult for intruders to target your windows. Planting rose bushes, Barberry, or Bougainvillea can create thick and thorny barriers that will make your windows look less appealing.

 

Get Smart About Lighting

Illuminating the exterior of your vacation home with motion-activated lights is another excellent way to deter intruders. Well-lit areas are less attractive to burglars and because they won’t be on all the time, you won’t need to worry about higher energy costs either.

The other option is to place your lighting on a timer, making it appear as if someone is at home. However, the more convenient and reliable option is to install smart lighting that you can control via your smartphone.

Philips Hue is a leading brand in smart lighting solutions, offering a wide range of smart bulbs, light strips, and accessories. Their products can be controlled remotely via smartphone apps and integrated with popular smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Lutron is another good option for smart dimmers, switches, and motorized shades.

 

Maintain Your Landscaping

If your vacation home is lucky enough to have a garden, landscaping should also be a part of your security strategy.

Keep trees and shrubs trimmed to eliminate hiding spots for potential intruders. Overgrown foliage is often the perfect coverage for burglars. What you plant also matters. Stick to shrubs and bushes that look good but are harsh or thorny to the touch, particularly around the perimeter of your property and around your windows.

Lighting is also an excellent addition to your landscaping. Not only does it look good, but lighting up pathways will make it more difficult for intruders to get close to your home, especially when you also have motion-activated lighting in larger, darker areas.

Speaking of pathways, sound can also be a good deterrent. Opt for small rocks or stones when creating pathways as they will create a crunching sound if someone’s approaching your house. 

 

Consider Hiring a Property Manager

If your vacation home will be vacant for extended periods, consider hiring a property management company to perform regular checks and maintenance tasks. They can also respond quickly to any security issues.

Look for property managers with a proven track record of successfully managing vacation properties. Check online reviews, ask for references, and inquire about their experience in the vacation rental industry.

It’s also important to clarify what services they offer. This may include advertising and marketing the property, handling bookings and reservations, coordinating check-ins and check-outs, cleaning and maintenance, and responding to guest inquiries and issues.


Naturally, if you’re not planning to rent out your vacation home, their services should simply include regular check-ins and general maintenance.

Lastly, ensure that the property manager is readily available to address any emergencies or issues that may arise during guests’ stays. They should have a reliable system in place for handling after-hours emergencies.

 

Find Out About Neighborhood Watch Programs

Get to know your neighbors and consider joining or establishing a neighborhood watch program. Looking out for each other and reporting any suspicious activity to the authorities can make having a vacation home a little less stressful.

Another option is to inform the local police department that your vacation home will be empty for a certain period. Some police departments offer vacation check programs where they will periodically inspect your property while you’re away.

You may also want to find out about local security companies with patrol vehicles in your area. Signing up as a customer will include regular checks at your vacation home. 

 

Maintain a Lived-In Look

Intruders would prefer not to target homes that are occupied, which is why it’s important for your vacation home, not to look like a vacation home.

Don’t leave all your curtains and blinds drawn and your outdoor furniture covered up as these are both clear indicators that someone isn’t around for extended periods of time.

Rather keep some curtains open where it makes sense to and leave some personal items visible through windows, such as furniture or decorations. This can create the impression that the home is occupied and discourage burglars.

As for outdoor items, if you’re worried they will get damaged, rather store them in your garage than make them seem like they are never in use.

If possible, suspend mail and newspaper delivery while the home is vacant. Accumulating mail and newspapers can signal to burglars that nobody is home. Alternatively, ask a neighbor or property manager to collect mail and newspapers regularly.

If your vacation home has a driveway or garage, consider leaving a vehicle parked there. This can create the illusion of occupancy, especially if the vehicle is occasionally moved – a neighbor or property manager could help with this too.

Lastly, make sure someone is attending to any garden and external maintenance. Overgrown lawns, dirty windows, and general damage can all allude to the fact that someone hasn’t been home in a while. 

 

A Note on Vacation Home Insurance

Insurance companies may perceive vacation homes differently based on various factors, but they generally do consider them to have a higher risk compared to primary residences. Here are some reasons why vacation homes may be viewed as higher risk:

  1. Occupancy: Vacation homes are often unoccupied for long periods, making them more susceptible to burglaries, vandalism, and damage from undetected issues such as leaks or pests.

  2. Location: The location of a vacation home can influence its risk profile. Properties in areas prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, or floods may be considered higher risk and may require specialized coverage.

  3. Rental Use: If the vacation home is rented out to guests, either short-term or long-term, it may be perceived as higher risk due to increased occupancy turnover and potential liability concerns associated with renting.

  4. Seasonal Weather: Vacation homes in areas with extreme seasonal weather conditions, such as heavy snowfall or hurricanes, may be at higher risk of weather-related damage when unoccupied.

  5. Remote Location: Vacation homes located in remote or secluded areas may be harder to access and monitor, increasing the risk of theft, vandalism, or damage going unnoticed for extended periods.

  6. Limited Access: Limited access to emergency services or utilities in rural or remote vacation home locations can contribute to increased risk in case of emergencies.

While insurance companies may view vacation homes as higher risk, homeowners can take steps to mitigate these risks and potentially lower insurance premiums.

Consulting with insurance agents or brokers who specialize in vacation home insurance can provide valuable guidance on risk management and coverage options tailored to your needs.

 

The Importance of Partnering with a Reputable Locksmith

Along with implementing these suggested tips, Miami vacation homeowners would do well to partner with a reputable locksmith.

Reputable locksmiths have the expertise and knowledge to assess the security needs of a vacation home and recommend appropriate measures to enhance its security. They can identify vulnerabilities in existing locks and security systems, provide solutions to address them effectively and assist with the installation of these solutions.

Proper installation of locks and security systems is essential for their effectiveness. Reputable locksmiths have the skills and experience to install security solutions correctly, minimizing the risk of installation errors that could compromise security.

In the event of a lockout or security breach at your vacation home, having a reliable locksmith on call can provide peace of mind. Reputable locksmiths offer emergency assistance 24/7, allowing homeowners to quickly resolve any security issues that arise.

What’s more, vacation homeowners often need to manage access to their property for guests, maintenance personnel, and other authorized individuals. Reputable locksmiths can provide key management solutions such as master key systems, keyless entry systems, and key duplication services to facilitate secure access control.

Locksmiths are also familiar with local regulations and industry standards related to security and access control. Partnering with a reputable locksmith ensures that your vacation home meets all applicable legal requirements and industry best practices for security.

Establishing a relationship with a reputable locksmith provides ongoing support for the security needs of your vacation home without you having to be around.

Contact Quickly Locksmith Miami at 305-984-9922 or by emailing us at [email protected] for all your vacation home security requirements. Our teams are available across Miami and we are bonded, licensed, and insured for your peace of mind.

We work with a range of leading security technology brands and have in-depth local knowledge, ensuring you receive the most relevant advice each and every time.

Picture of David Davidof

David Davidof

David Davidof is the founder & owner of Quickly Locksmith. The business has grown from strength to strength to become Miami’s go-to provider for Locksmith and Security services. Whilst the company has grown, the founding ethos has remained the same - Helping people in emergency situations and giving them the feeling they are safe.

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