Before leaving for an extended summer vacation — or even a short weekend road trip — you might want to try a few of these best practices and tips. Because there’s nothing worse than interrupting your trip to deal with an invasion, or coming home after vacation to a burglarized home.
Make your home look occupied
Simulating occupancy — via security lighting, in particular, has been found to mitigate burglary potential. The best way to do this is to take full advantage of home automation. Home automation devices allow you to check the status of your home and control things like the temperature, lighting, and door locks remotely. Smart light bulbs can be commanded directly from your smartphone. Before you go on vacation, schedule when you want to control the lights depending on the time of day, use geofencing to automatically turn the lights on or off when you leave, or use sunrise/sunset automations.
Find home automation products that work with your security system
If you’re wondering how to start automating, see how many companies and devices your home security system is compatible with. Security cameras can provide both peace of mind and evidence in the event you need to catch a burglar or porch pirate.
No internet-connected device is completely protected when it comes to potential hacking. No matter what camera you buy, it’s critically important for everyone in your family to vigilantly protect your network and practice cyber-safety.
Choose a reliable home security system
Burglars are less likely to enter a home they see is protected by alarms. When deciding what type of security system to get, self-monitoring is the biggest difference between a DIY system and a traditional one, and DIY typically lacks hefty fees and yearly contracts. On the other hand, professional or traditional systems come with central monitoring stations (that will call the police for you) and will send representatives who can evaluate your home’s vulnerabilities, helping you decide where to best place all of your devices. A security system won’t necessarily prevent burglaries, but it will definitely make burglars think twice, knowing they will have a very short amount of time before the police arrive.
Check appliances and other systems and perform a home inventory
Before you leave, you might want to check your alarm system and door/window sensitivity levels are in good shape, and that your environmental sensors are working. Make sure your water, heating/cooling systems are working properly and unplug appliances before you leave. This will help reduce the risk of fire or leaks and help you save money on electricity. Performing a home inventory prior to any losses or damage will help you not only keep tabs on what you lost and what it’s worth, but also make filing an insurance claim much easier.
Rethink posting about your trip on social media
The majority of the security professionals we’ve talked to have agreed that it’s best to keep your travel plans offline. Social media posts/check-ins make it easy for people to know whether you’re home or not, so you should save the pictures for when you return. And yes, that means no Instagram stories.
While it might be tough to fully prevent a home invasion, burglary, or disaster, there are still a few things you can do to potentially reduce the risk or capture evidence in real time. And with technology today, it’s become easier than ever to keep a watchful eye, so you can focus on enjoying your time away from home.