The holidays are quickly approaching, and, for some, that means changes in your routine, including how you usually maintain and monitor your home’s security. Whether visiting family members, going on vacation or sharing your home with friends and relatives, it’s common for home security measures to slip between the cracks during this busy season. Here are four tips for keeping your home safe during the holidays:
Tip #1: Be aware of your surroundings.
Burglars often target homes during the holidays because of the high probability that residents will be out of town or too distracted with shopping and entertaining to remember to lock their doors or arm their security systems. Instead of falling prey to these intruders and getting caught up in the busyness of the season, stay aware of your surroundings by maintaining your security routine. By keeping the exterior of your home well-lit, utilizing wireless security cameras, and continuing to arm and monitor your security system throughout the season, you can prevent a potentially traumatic and costly break-in that could ruin more than just your holiday celebrations.
Tip #2: Keep arming your security system.
When friends or family members are sharing your home, instead of simply leaving your home unarmed for ease of entry, consider sharing your security system code or creating separate codes for each guest so that you can continue securing your home even when you have visitors. Most modern security systems allow users to create multiple codes, enabling you to track who enters and exits your home by checking to see which code was used to disarm the system. This can prove useful when you have more people staying in your home than usual, as you can easily differentiate between guests who should be entering your home and those who shouldn’t.
Also, instead of distributing keys to all guests during the holidays, consider purchasing a keyless entry system, which would allow you to create lock and unlock codes for each user. This would prevent the unpredictable distribution of multiple keys, which can be lost or accidentally fall into the hands of the wrong party.
Tip #3: Employ a self-monitored security system.
If you’re leaving your home for the holidays, don’t make your house or apartment an easy target to intruders by neglecting to secure it properly. Today’s wireless security systems can be easily self-monitored through mobile apps or websites, meaning you can check in on your home while you’re away. Even if you don’t have a security system that is monitored by a third-party service, you can find an affordable self-monitored security system that should be quick and simple to install prior to your departure. This way, you can log in from your smartphone or laptop computer to ensure that all is well in your home. Most apps will also send you push notifications, text messages or phone calls when a sensor is triggered, alerting you in real time whenever the security of your home has been breached. Once you get the alert, you can then contact the authorities, call your neighbors to check in on your belongings, or disable a false alarm.
Also, if you own a wireless security camera, you can easily tune into your home while you’re away, so you can keep an eye on it when you’re not there. Many wireless security cameras today work as motion sensors, activating when triggered by an intruder or irregular activity. When triggered, your security camera should alert you via your mobile device, allowing you to see exactly what caused the trigger in real time and to take the necessary next steps to ensure that your belongings are protected. The capabilities afforded by a self-monitored security system bring great peace of mind while you’re away on vacation or visiting family, allowing you to enjoy yourself without stressing about the safety of your home.
Tip #4: Automate your home.
In addition to preventing home break-ins, a home security system can also help save energy and money while you’re away from your home or when multiple people have access to your home’s daily functions. By integrating your lighting and temperature control settings into your self-monitored security system, you can control these electrical functions from afar. For example, when your family member is cranking up the heat while you’re at work, you can monitor your thermostat from afar to ensure that your energy bill doesn’t get too high. Or, if you’re on vacation, you can check to make sure you didn’t leave any lights or that you didn’t leave the garage door open. Not only does this add a layer of security to your home, but also lets you maintain control over your bills during an already expensive time of year.
No one wants to worry about a home break-in or emergency during a time that should be full of happiness and relaxation. Make sure that you’re prepared during the holidays by taking the necessary measures ahead of time to ensure that your home, your family and your belongings stay safe.