From apps that provide fancy drink recipes and electric forks that monitor eating habits, to fridges that alert you when you’re running low on milk, our lives are made easier by the ever-increasing smart-home options available. This technology also lets us monitor and safeguard our houses more effectively nowadays.
If you plan to leave your place unoccupied while you travel over the holidays, the following tech items will give you that extra peace of mind that comes with knowing your property is protected. And if something untoward were to happen, you’ll be alerted and can take immediate action.
Home Security System
A home security system that includes door and window sensors is your first line of defense. Certain systems allow you to self-monitor. However, if you plan to leave the country or head somewhere with no network, getting alerts on your phone won’t help much. If you opt for a monitored home security system, the alarm company will call the police for you in the event of a breach to your home.
Many security systems also have flood sensors that can monitor changes in moisture levels. The flood sensors will indicate if there’s a broken pipe or appliance. The safest systems also include or are at least connected to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well and will raise the alarm if they sense fire or noxious fumes.
More and more homeowners are opting to place cameras both inside and outside their homes to prevent unwanted guests from approaching the property or stealing packages left on the doorstep. A motion-activated set up will send alerts and video clips to your smartphone allowing you to take steps right away. Most of these cameras also allow you to check in remotely and see what’s going on while you’re away by live streaming the activity at your house.
Outdoor Security Lights
In addition to cameras, security lights outside your home can go a long way to persuading would-be burglars to try their luck elsewhere. Consider installing these lights around the back or sides of your home to illuminate any dark areas. Most models are motion-activated or programmed to only come on at night, so they don’t take a lot of energy to run.
Among all the smart security products on the market, smart door locks are some of the handiest. These locks not only allow you to secure your doors remotely but give you a way to get back into your home when you forget your keys (as long as you have your smartphone on you). In fact, certain models let you dispose completely with physical keys. Smart locks are also a boon if you need to give access to a neighborly plant waterer or cat feeder. This feature eliminates the need to keep track of all the people you’ve ever given keys to. Then when you’re back from vacation, you simply reset the code.
When you’re heading off for the holidays and leaving an empty house, you want to adjust your heating or cooling system to avoid wasting energy, but you don’t want to turn it off altogether. A smart thermostat will allow you to program a schedule ahead of time so your place will be warmed up again upon your return. Another handy feature: you can adjust the temperature while you’re away. Say you have someone coming to stay at your place for a few days—you can turn up the heating remotely to give them a comfortable stay and then turn it back down when they leave.
While these tech solutions do need to be installed in advance of your trip, they’re worth the effort. There’s nothing that can spoil a trip more than worrying about your home or the items within it when you’re far away. With a bit of pre-planning and your trusty smartphone on hand, you’ll have everything under control right at your fingertips. All that’s left for you to do is enjoy the season and your holiday vacation.