Protecting your home property with security devices
We’re serious about safety and security. We want you to be, too. To help you decide which types of security devices you might want to include at your property, we've created some straightforward advice about popular types of security devices and which ones might be right for your property.
When installing any of these devices, we strongly recommend that you be aware of and follow all privacy laws and regulations that apply to your location. Be proactive with guests and communicate to them which security devices and measures you have in place at your property, and be available to answer their questions about privacy and security. In addition to security, we encourage you to review your processes and devices devoted to safety.
What’s in this article
- Smart locks
- Security alarms
- Security cameras
- Motion and sound detectors
- Lockers and safes
- Do you have any of these devices at your property?
Keys get lost. Guests lock themselves out. You can avoid these unfortunate events by investing in a smart lock instead of relying on physical keys. In addition to bypassing the physical key exchange process, some electronic smart locks offer additional controls.
If you’re considering purchasing a smart lock, ask your vendor about additional options around these types of features:
- Single-use: Can you create unique electronic codes customised for each booking? This is ultimately safer for both you and your guests.
- Smartphone use: Can you unlock doors remotely using an app, while giving your guest the ability to enter and leave using only their smartphone (via Bluetooth, Z-Wave or WiFi)?
- App analytics: Some smart locks offer connected apps that you can use to confirm details like when guests arrive and leave – or even accidentally leave a door open – which can provide you with additional peace of mind.
- Is it too smart? Will the system or process your smart lock uses still be usable if, for example, a guest doesn’t own a smartphone or the electricity fails?
Guests who value security above all else will appreciate properties that feature alarms. That said, some guests don’t like security alarms at all. There are many positives and negatives to consider before investing in a security alarm.
On the positive side, security alarms can provide strong peace of mind for guests. They can immediately alert you or your guests if an intruder enters the property.
Many security systems also come with sensors that detect motion, usually at key points like doors and windows. Some come with additional sensors that you can place anywhere you like. The most sophisticated security systems allow you to adjust the range and sensitivity of these motion detectors.
But be aware that high-tech security systems can be complex. Having a state-of-the-art system in your accommodation can be a selling point, but it can also lead to guest confusion or false alarms. Here are a few points to consider before choosing a security system:
- What happens after an alarm is triggered? Will the police or a private security company be notified?
- Is there a fee associated with false alarms?
- How will you, as the property owner, be notified when an alarm activates?
- What will happen if the alarm goes off and you are unreachable?
Make sure you understand what a security system will cost and how it will work before you invest in one. If you decide to install one, create a set of detailed instructions so guests understand what the system offers, how it works and how to use it.
If you choose to install a security camera on your property, you should be prepared to address guest questions about these devices with both diplomacy and hospitality. Above all, it is important to be transparent about any security cameras located inside or outside of your accommodation. This is a detail you must always include in your listing. If you do not include this information, you risk being suspended from the platform.
One popular choice for property owners is a video doorbell device. These are usually mounted at the front door and function as a combination doorbell, security camera and two-way voice intercom. When someone approaches the door or rings the doorbell, the device will send a notification to your smartphone, allowing you to view the video feed directly from your phone and respond to visitors.
This type of device can also be used to communicate with guests in other ways. For example, you could use it to perform your meet-and-greet or check-in procedure. Of course, opening up this new channel of communication also means that you might be contacted by a guest with a question for you at any time of the day or night.
Some property owners are also attracted to the idea of video cameras because they feel these devices can help enforce their house rules. For example, if you don’t allow additional unregistered guests, smoking in or around your property, or pets inside the home, knowing there is a camera at the front door might dissuade guests from breaking these rules.
These are important details for you to consider about security cameras:
- Before installing a camera on your property, be aware of our requirements and regulations that apply to surveillance
- Placing a camera in areas where there is an expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom or bedroom, is illegal in most countries and is against our policies
- Your guests may have a video doorbell device at their own home or they may have never used one before, so make sure you include instructions for how to use it effectively
Motion detectors are less of a privacy concern than cameras, but they should also not be placed in areas where guests have an expectation of privacy. They are often used outdoors as a security amenity to alert guests when people approach the property, but they can also be used to keep certain areas off-limits. For example, if your house rules designate an area like a garage or storage space where guests are not allowed, a motion detector can help you enforce those rules.
Similarly, you can find devices that are designed to only measure the level of sound in an area. The most obvious use for a sound detector is to help enforce house rules around parties and noise. Be aware that if the device combines the use of noise detection with capturing photos or videos when noise is detected, it is classified as a CCTV.
While not strictly necessary, guests who are far away from home in an unfamiliar neighbourhood will appreciate having a secure place to lock up their valuables. Digital or LED lockers with no physical keys are recommended. Lockers that are attached to walls or furniture are inherently more secure.
Make sure you indicate the presence of safety devices, either inside or outside your property, in the Facilities & services section of the Property tab, and show guests the location of these devices during check-in.
Legal & Security
- Why do I need to complete a Know Your Partner (KYP) form?
- Making Pulse even more secure
- What you need to know about online security and social engineering
- Online Security Awareness: Phishing
- Report a security issue
- Preventing unauthorised use of your account
- What is 2-factor authentication (2FA)?
- Requirements and regulations around surveillance devices
- Digital event security standards
- Guidelines for room key access
- Keeping your property safe and clean
- Equipping your home property with safety devices, safety kits and emergency plans
- Protecting your home property with security devices
- Partner Liability Insurance
- Local laws and regulations
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- Booking.com Animal Welfare Standards for accommodation partners
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- Our values and guidelines
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