Increase Summertime Home Security with Home Automation
Since we last shared tips for securing your home while on vacation, options in home security have grown tremendously. Homeowners now have more choices – from more affordable security cameras to home automation with connected devices, such as sprinkler systems.
If you haven’t taken a summer trip already, you’re probably planning a family getaway. Whether your plans include a staycation or a cross-country trip, you’ll enjoy your time away more if your home is secure while sitting empty.
The basics in home security we shared previously are still critical tips. However, we’ve added some steps for increasing security using home automation or the latest in wireless security options. Tips and options for securing your home prior to and while on vacation include:
Home security cameras have become a critical component of most security systems, offering an affordable, easy way to keep an eye on home. If someone does enter your property uninvited, you have the option to receive an alert and video clip. You can even save the video clip and share it with authorities if needed. In general, a home security camera, combined with a monitored security yard sign, helps prevent a break-in.
Make your home appear occupied to deter a break-in. This is easy enough to do with a home automation system that you can remotely control. Use your home security system’s mobile app to turn lights and entertainment systems on or off. Set your home automation system to run your connected sprinklers at various times of the day or week.
Place a hold on your mail with the Post Office or have a trusted friend or neighbor pick up mail and deliveries. Using a video doorbell camera to know when a package arrives and alerting your friend if needed is another option.
Avoid parking your car in the driveway or have a friend move it occasionally. Also, do not store valuables or items, such as a garage door opener, in the vehicle.
At the least, install deadbolt locks on all exterior entrances, including those to the garage. Even better, consider smart locks that you can control via mobile app (in case someone needs in to check your property) and a handy doorbell camera. A doorbell camera will alert you when someone visits your front entrance and allows you to speak to them.
Illuminate your home with smart lighting, which you can control with a mobile security app. A well-lit property makes it easier to spot unwelcome visitors and makes your home less attractive to burglars.
It sounds obvious, but make sure all doors and windows are locked before you leave, including any upstairs.
Avoid hiding a spare key outside, which burglars know to look for. Consider keeping a spare with a trusted neighbor instead or installing keyless entry and smart locks.
Make sure your emergency contact list is up to date with your alarm monitoring center. Having a professionally monitored system allows you to relax, knowing emergency officials will be called in the event of a break-in, fire, or carbon monoxide emergency.
Include water detection devices with your security system so that you receive a notification if the water is detected inside. You also now have the option of temperature sensors that help protect sensitive valuables from extreme temperature changes. A thermostat that goes on the blink or flooding in your basement is an unwelcome surprise when you arrive home.
Tackle any yardwork that can increase security before you go. Trim hedges and branches that create hiding spots near your home or easy entry.
Make sure heat and carbon monoxide detectors are working. Better yet, install monitored detectors so emergency personnel are alerted when you’re not home or are unable to call for help. This is especially critical if older children or pets stay home.
Consider a smart thermostat that you can control via mobile app or set it and forget it. Controlling or setting the temperature based on your daily or travel schedule can help save on energy use and costs.
A Security System is Your Best Travel Companion
A monitored alarm system with home automation options provides tremendous peace of mind when you’re away. Today’s home security systems can pull double-duty and lend a hand through easy, remote control from an app. Let visitors in or out, turn lights on or off, ensure the garage door got closed, and check-in via security cameras.
On a final note, if your home is monitored by a security system, it’s especially important to:
Test your system monthly to ensure it is working properly before an emergency occurs and especially before you hit the road;
Help prevent false alarms. Provide detailed instructions on the operation of your security system to anyone who has access to your home. Using a mobile app and home security cameras help too, allowing you to verify an emergency from your phone;
Have your security company provide a free review to ensure you have the latest features that offer the most convenience, security;
Check with your home insurance company to make sure you’re receiving potential discounts related to having a monitored alarm system; and
Remember your home security features allow you to leave your worries behind whether you’re at the office or on the beach.
Imagine: No more leaving home wondering if you left a door open or unlocked. No more worrying about an elderly cat or teenager you left overnight at home. Mobile app control provides assurance and convenience all summer long and year-round. Your security system will allow you to leave town worry-free, check in if needed, and return to a comfortable, safe home.
At Alert 360, we’re here for you 24/7, 365 days of the year, whether it’s providing alarm monitoring or helpful security and family safety tips. Check out our previous blog on tips for staying safe while on the road, if your travels include an overnight, with older children staying home, review these related blogs: