Tips for keeping your shore house safe in the off-season
It happens every year right after Labor Day. Life at the beach goes from family fun central to ghost town almost overnight as families pack up, head home and back to school. Your beach house, once buzzing with activity, empties out and is closed up tight – or is it? Here’s a handy checklist for keeping burglars at bay while you’re away.
- Lock it up. It seems pretty basic, but you’d be surprised how many people forget that one window or door. Make sure your locks are good and secure. Consider installing steel doors and deadbolts.
- Set the alarm. If you don’t already have one, consider investing in a house alarm. If you already have an alarm, make sure you use it, and put one of those handy signs in your yard letting people know it’s there. Window stickers work too. Burglars aren’t big fans of loud sirens, so alarms are a great deterrent.
- Leave the lights on. It’s important to make sure your home shows signs of life during the long, winter months. Purchase some timers for lights in key places like the kitchen, main living area and at the front door.
- Close your curtains. Well, maybe not all of them, as it’s normal for people to keep certain curtains closed. Experts suggest closing most curtains on the first floor and leaving the ones upstairs open to give things a lived-in look.
- Stop mail and newspaper delivery. Stacks of newspapers and mailboxes full of mail are tell-tale signs that no one is home.
- Notify a neighbor. If you’re lucky enough to live next door to a year-round beach dweller, ask them to keep an eye on things. Make sure they have a spare key and know how to contact you should something go wrong. If you don’t have a neighbor nearby, notify the local police. If you have a relationship with a realtor, let them know too. They show homes all year round and would be happy to alert you to anything that looks suspicious.
- Consider a caretaker. Hire someone to move in for the winter months to keep your home running smoothly and safely.
- Park a car in your driveway. If you have access to a car that’s rarely driven, or if your neighbor has two, park one in your driveway. The combination of the car and lights will make a burglar think twice.
- Make a mid-winter visit. Break up your time away with a brief mid-winter visit. Spend a long weekend and give everything the once-over while you’re there. Take a walk on the beach and make plans for your summer return. You’ll be back before you know it.
If you don’t yet own a beach home, but have interest in taking a look, give us a call at one of our two Ocean City locations at 800.255.0998 or 800.255.1311.