We’ve all heard at least one horror story about a family returning home from a long holiday only to find that their house has been broken into or a pipe has burst in their absence. Problems like these can cost hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars to fix and are guaranteed to cause a lot of stress. Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent security breaches while you’re off on a family adventure.
We’ve compiled the following tips to help you prep your house for safety before you go out of town and truly relax while you’re away. Some of them require a little investment and planning, but taking these steps now will save you from major headaches down the road.
1. Get a professionally monitored home security system
Your first line of defence against a break in over the holiday period is a professionally monitored home security system that includes door and window sensors. Some systems allow you to self-monitor, but especially if you’re going out of the country or somewhere with unreliable data network coverage, alerts on your phone won’t do you much good. With a professionally monitored system, the alarm company calls the authorities for you when there’s a breach.
2. Use motion control and timed lights
Basic security should definitely include both motion control security lights as well as timed lights on the inside of your home. Lights that are turned on and off intermittently help create the appearance that someone is home and motion detection lights will illuminate anyone coming around the property at night. The best part about this type of equipment is how affordable it is. You can chat to one of our friendly team members to find out about pricing here.
3. Install outdoor sensor lights
Outdoor sensor lights are simple to install for those of you who aren’t too tech-savvy. Motion-sensor flood lights can also prove to be useful year-round for general home security whether you’re home or not, and often are equipped with technology to have them turn off and on at certain times of the day. Most models are either motion activated or will only come on at night, so you don’t have to worry about them wasting a lot of energy.
4. Unplug nonessential electronics
Unplugging nonessential electronics like TVs, computers, coffee makers, fans, lamps etc. will both reduce the risk of fire and save you money. The power used by plugged-in electronics while they’re not in use, accounts for 5–10% of residential energy use and costs each household around $100 each year. Unplugging devices also protects them against electrical surges, which can short out expensive equipment or cause fires.
5. Get a programmable or smart thermostat
When you’re gone, there’s no use heating or cooling an empty house to a comfortable temperature, but you don’t want to turn your system off entirely, either. A good rule of thumb is to set your thermostat to four degrees above or below your normal setting when you’re away. With a programmable thermostat, you can set a schedule ahead of time so your house will be back to a comfortable temperature by the time you return home.
6. Add a smart lock to your door
A smart door lock lets you unlock your door remotely from your smartphone and grant temporary access with expiring codes. If you have a neighbour checking in on the house or a house sitter coming to take care of the dogs, you can keep track of exactly who goes in and out of your house and terminate access once you’re home again. No more trying to keep track of who has your spare keys because you have full control over who does and doesn’t have access at any given time.
7. Check batteries in all home security devices
This one’s pretty simple, but it often goes overlooked. Regularly check all your security and safety devices like motion detectors, cameras, and smoke detectors to make sure the batteries won’t fail while you’re gone. Even if something is hardwired, it may have a backup battery in case of power outages. Opt for high-quality batteries over budget batteries, as you’re likely to get more life out of them.
8. Invest in security cameras
A handful of well-placed security cameras both inside and outside can mean the difference between catching a perpetrator or not. You want a system which is motion activated and will send alerts and video clips to your smartphone so you can take immediate action. They will also allow you to remotely drop in on your cameras in real time and live stream whatever’s going on at your house. If you need help selecting a security camera system, get in touch with us today so we can recommend the best indoor/outdoor systems to use.
At Ehlerth Electrical we aim to keep your home and business highly connected at all times. We offer installation and services on your existing phone, data, TV and security systems and we can also integrate and automate your environment with our home automation services. If you require an assistance with communications before the Christmas break, please get in touch with us today on 1800 940 413.