It’s finally summer, and people are gearing up for weekend cookouts, trips to the pool, and week long excursions to their favorite vacation spot. Despite the fun and relaxation all these activities provide, seasonal trends indicate summer still has the highest rate of household crimes. But not to worry! Follow these basic safety precautions to keep your home safe and secure while you’re away.
1. Hold your mail. A huge pile of mail accumulating on your front doorstep or pouring out of your mail slot is a good indication that no one is home. If you’ll be gone on vacation for more than a few days, contact the post office to put a hold on your mail. If you get the daily paper, it might be a good idea to hold that too. If you’ll only be gone for a couple of days, ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspaper daily until you return home.
2. Avoid social media. Don’t announce your trip on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Although you may be excited to tell your friends and family where you’re going, your social network security settings are not fool proof. If you need to tell someone, give them a call or talk to them in person. Save the social sharing until after the trip. You’ll have plenty of pictures and details to post once you get back.
3. Enlist a friend or neighbor. In case of an emergency, give a spare key and vacation contact information to a trusted friend or family member. This way they will know how to contact you or get into your house if necessary. If you have BSG integrated door locks, set your friend or family member up with their own code. As another added layer of security, the Image Sensor feature, unique to the BSG powered by Alarm.com, can enable users to look in on their homes with the peek-in feature while they are away.
4. Make it appear like you’re home. You can create the illusion that you’re home by setting your lights and/or television on a timer. Smart Lights allows homeowners to schedule light automation rules in advance. Lights can be automated to turn on and off at specific times or when sunrise and sunset occur. You should also leave a car in the driveway if you are only taking one car, and if you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, it may be a good idea to arrange for someone to mow your lawn or take care of your home’s exterior.
5. Unplug. Before leaving for vacation, make sure you unplug all unnecessary devices or appliances (except those on timers). This can protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. BSG customers can use the small appliance module to connect their compatible devices and appliances and control them right from the BSG smartphone app powered by Alarm.com.
6. Be energy conscious. Set your thermostat cool enough (around 80-85 degrees) to save on electricity while you’re gone. With Geo-services, BSG users can use their location to automate thermostat settings. As you’re leaving or arriving home from vacation, your location can adjust your thermostat based on your preferences. Integrated thermostats can also be controlled through the BSG smartphone app powered by Alarm.com or automation rules can be set-up to create energy efficient and smart schedules. When leaving for vacation and arming your system “away”, your house can automatically go into energy saving mode.
7. Lock up your valuables. Put jewelry, important documents, or other valuables in a locked fire-proof safe. This will add another level of security when it comes to protecting these important items.
8. Advertise your security. Make sure your security company stickers and yard signs are prominently placed. You want to convey the message that “this is not the home you are looking for.”
9. Use technology. BSG users should download the smartphone app with technology powered by Alarm.com to monitor your home right from your favorite vacation spot. Take advantage of all your home automation features such as looking in on your cameras, receiving alerts, controlling your thermostat, Geo-services and more at the touch of your fingertips.
Although these tips are not fool proof (unless you have armed guards), they will still give you peace of mind while you’re lying on the beach or hiking in the mountains. If you have any questions or want to learn more about securing and automating your home with BSG, give us a call at (855) MYSMARTHOME or contact us.
Have a great and safe summer!