How to prevent burglary in your second home?

Published: August 31, 2023 by  Marguerite Cotter

Unfortunately, having a second home can also make it more vulnerable to burglaries especially once your holiday is over and the home becomes more vacant. This can lead it to be a target for burglars.

For the lucky few, having a second home where you can spend your holidays and free time is a wonderful advantage. But it also comes with its downsides such as extra property taxes, bills and maintenance and most importantly an increased exposure to the risk of burglary.

The situation begs the question, how to prevent burglary in your second home? What are the right actions to adopt to strengthen your security? This article aims to address these points and help you to increase the home security of your second home and prevent burglary. 


Why are second homes targets for burglars? 

Prolonged absence - a risk factor 

Second homes, are often abandoned for long periods, become prime targets for burglars. Owners usually make seasonal stays, leaving homes unoccupied. This situation creates an opportunity for burglars who are almost certain that the place will be deserted. Always on the lookout, burglars do not hesitate to enter these residences in their quest for valuables. 

Isolation and remoteness - assets for burglars 

If you read one of our recent blogs on the considerations when buying a second home, then you will know that location is often a primary priority. People often choose isolated locations to escape the city or be near the sea. Second homes are often located in the middle of nowhere, far from neighbours and passers-by, which presents opportunities for burglars. This isolation ensures the absence of troublesome witnesses, thus creating a fertile ground for committing their misdeeds with impunity. 

Remote properties can sometimes be poorly lit, making burglary attempts even easier. To counter these risks, all owners must protect their property and adopt home security measures. Learn about the best house alarms on the market, install sturdy locks, etc. By adopting these precautions, you strengthen the security of your home and make it almost impenetrable. 

How to detect the signs of a potential burglary of your second home? 

When looking to protect your second home from burglary, there are certain warning signs to watch out for. Note any unusual behaviours, suspicious vehicles/people or events that should catch your attention. This could also be events like:

  • scratches or burglary marks on your windows,
  • an increase in unsolicited mail in your mailbox (looking to see if post is removed and house is vacant)
  • Regular visits of unsolicited and unverified sales agents or repairs people who only seem to go to certain homes and not all homes
  • Unusual markings outside your home which may suggest is has been flagged to target by a gang after surveillance
  • Unknown vehicles parked near your home or individuals prowling around your garden should instantly arouse your suspicions.

The warning signs to watch out for to prevent burglaries should not be taken lightly. Be alert to any unusual behavior or events around your property. Don't ignore any strange or unusual signs. Vigilance is the key to protecting your second home from burglars!  

The importance of vigilant neighbours and surveillance systems 

Having vigilant neighbours can be a great help in protecting your home from burglaries. They can report any suspicious activity to you in your absence. It is therefore necessary to build relationships of trust with your neighbours and/or inform them of your absences. You can help each other to strengthen your security. Together, you can deter thieves. This is especially important when you consider that the burglaries Increase by 10% in 2022

Installing a comprehensive home security system is a surefire way to deter burglars. The alarms are equipped with advanced technologies that can detect home intrusions and send you alerts directly. They allow you to intervene quickly in the event of a problem. PhoneWatch’s monitored home alarm system responds within 15 seconds in the event of a triggering and will contact the owner and/or Gardai.


What to do if your second home has been burgled? 

No one is safe from burglaries! If unfortunately, you discover that your home has been burgled, try to keep calm:

  • Call the Gardai - no need to be a superhero, the police will know what to do.  
  • Don't touch anything - avoid touching or moving anything so as not to alter potential evidence that Gardai could use to investigate. 
  • Take photos - If possible, take pictures of the damage caused during the burglary to support your insurance statement. 
  • Contact your insurer - Notify your insurance company of the burglary as soon as possible to begin the loss reporting and reimbursement process if you have the necessary insurance coverage.  

Further steps on what to do after a burglary can be found in recent blog post.

How to improve the security of your second home after a burglary? 

Here are our top tips to improve the security of your home if its already suffered a burglary: 

  • Strengthen access points - Get high-quality locks.  
  • A professional home security system - equip yourself with a complete security system such as security cameras, home alarmwindow and glass break sensors, motion detectors etc.
  • Simulate a presence - Program lights or electronics using smart plugs to turn on and off at random times, giving the impression that the house is occupied. 
  • Do not hesitate to install a home alarm with remote monitoring for peace of mind and to alert you and the authorities in case of problems. PhoneWatch’s professional home alarm system is connected to a 24/7 monitoring service. 


In conclusion, do not neglect the security of your second home, especially when you know that burglars particularly target these isolated and remote properties. By adopting effective prevention and security measures, you can prevent burglaries and protect your second home.


From house alarm systems to tailored home security, PhoneWatch create and install alarm systems to match your budget and give you peace of mind. We are trusted by over 118,000 homes in Ireland to keep them safe every day. Get a personalised home security quote today.

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