A Couple of Tips on Preventing Break-ins Into Your Villa
Imagine the following scenario: you have settled down in your villa holiday with your loved ones and began fully enjoying all the perks of staying in a super comfortable, luxury property you carefully selected.
You fall in love with the heated swimming pool, the master bedroom is to die for and you cannot believe how relaxing that dip in the jacuzzi last night with your partner felt. Even the kids are jumping out of their skin out of joy – the big backyard is a perfect playground and there’s a big TV in the sophisticated living room.
After a few days, you want to explore a little more of your surroundings, you pack your wife/husband and kids into your SUV, and drive off to sample that restaurant everyone is talking about or to see the local sightseeing attractions or perhaps – visit that stunning beach in the vicinity.
Upon return, your smile is swiftly wiped off your and your family members’ faces – you realize that someone had broken into the villa you rented and has been poking around your things. Some of the owners’, as well as your valuables, you thought were safe, are missing.
A whirlwind of headaches follows: contacting the rental company or the owners, checking for insurance, dealing with the local police…your dream holiday has gone from heaven to sour in a second and there’s nothing but a bad feeling.
Luckily, these events are not that common and can easily be avoided if you follow a series of steps to ensure they don’t happen.
We prepared a list of most critical tips to make sure that you avoid a burglary happening to you and spare you the black hole of holiday-ruining damage control after the fact.
1. GET TO KNOW THE TECHNOLOGY
Not everyone is born with the knowledge of operating, or even recognizing, anti-burglary technology. When you’re still in the villa-booking stage, make sure you ask the agency or the owners about the available gadgets that had been installed to prevent burglary.
Ask about any alarms, security cameras and motion detectors. Request that they give you a full rundown on how to operate these, even if you think you will be able to figure it out on your own.
Don’t be ashamed to ask – this is key. A good introduction by the owners/agents (a good agent will do it even without you specifically asking) can be crucial in keeping your holiday a dream and not a nightmare holiday.
2. MASTER THE BASICS
Common sense is not always as common as its name implies. That’s why it’s important to spend a good portion of time going through the most basic of the basic precautions once you are settled in your villa.
Check how to use the use the deadbolt locks on the doors, how to close and lock the windows, make sure to leave multiple lights on when you’re away (ideally programmed to turn on and off at different times), how to operate the alarm.
3. DON’T TELEGRAPH YOUR NOT BEING PRESENT
You could easily be led into the trap of broadcasting going away from your villa online via Facebook or Twitter but that’s a horribly bad idea. It’s on par with handing the keys directly to the burglar and telling him “Come in, take whatever you like!”
Additional ways to not exactly know everyone and their grandmother know you’re away are: not leaving any answering machine messages announcing your departure, not leaving any messages on the villa doors telling everyone about your absence and organise putting the mail delivery on hold in the event of staying away for a bit longer – a bunch of mail in your mailbox is a dead giveaway.
4. HIDE YOUR VALUABLES FROM VIEW
Nothing moves you to the top of the burglar’s target list faster than announcing the content of your villa to the whole wide world. Discretion is really key when it comes to avoiding that painful situation of dealing with a house that has been broken into.
What exactly are you to do? Make use of the blinds or drapes that obscure valuables from sight; tuck lawnmowers, leafblowers, and bikes in the garage; lock up your valuables such as cash, jewelry, expensive gadgetry; cut up any TV or stereo boxes if you plan to leave them on the street.
5. KEEP YOUR YARD TIDY
Again, tipping off the pesky burglars about your absence will be a lot easier if you don’t take good care of your yard. Make sure it looks taken care of while you’re gone and you won’t red flag your villa for the takers.
6. USE THE NEIGHBOUR NETWORK
Making friends with your immediate neighbours goes a long way towards retaining the ownership of the valuable trinkets you leave in your villa. If you establish a good relationship with them, you can ask them to keep an eye on the villa for you while you’re having gourmet experiences and bonding with your family somewhere else.
Put on a smile, bake a plate of biscuits or invite them over for a cold beer or a glass of wine. Most people will gladly keep watch of your villa – just be prepared to do the same for them while they’re away.
Do you have any good tips on how to avoid break-ins into your villa? Let us know via our Facebook page or Twitter and if you liked this article, make sure you share it with your friends.
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