For many, the holiday season means travel! In fact, millions of U.S. residents travel more than 50 miles away from home during the holiday season. Unfortunately, burglars are also aware of these holiday season travel statistics. While many families look forward to the holidays, it is easy to get carried away with excitement and forget to prepare your home for your time away. There’s nothing worse than coming back from a relaxing vacation to a stressful situation at home, so it is best to be prepared and protect your home before you travel.

Home Security Matters

It may sound simple, but it is important for people to remember to set their home security systems to the appropriate settings before leaving for travel. Investing in a high quality, easy-to-use security systems grant the ultimate peace of mind for travelers. If you forget to arm your system before you leave, don’t panic! Some home security systems let you arm, or disarm, your system by remotely accessing it via any smart phone, tablet or computer. You can also set up alerts to remind you if your system hasn’t been armed.

You could also invest in a smart doorbell which automatically sends a text or email to you each time the bell is triggered. Take a look at your security cameras to make sure everything is okay, or have a trusted neighbor stop by. Smart doorbells can also trigger entryway lighting to give the illusion that someone is home.

Remote locks are also useful if you are planning on going away for the holidays, but still need to allow certain visitors into your home while you’re gone. You’ll be able to lock and unlock your doors remotely and be alerted every time the door is unlocked. This means if you happen to forget your house keys you’ll be able to let yourself in when you return from vacation. If you’re leaving your teens or young adult children behind this holiday season, you can get alerts for when they leave or come home. You can even set up an emergency automation that unlocks your doors if a fire is detected.

If you’re still likely to worry with a home security system, smart doorbell, and remote lock, then consider video surveillance. You’ll be able see live video of your home from your smart phone, tablet or computer and sync your cameras to motion detectors so you can receive video clips of movement as soon as the sensors are triggered.

Don’t Let Your Home Look Abandoned

If your home looks like it has been abandoned, that is often a green light for a passing burglar.

It’s one thing to arm your home security systems before you leave, but it’s another step entirely to make sure your home looked lived in when you’re gone. However, there are a few ways you can create this illusion:

  • Ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to help collect mail and packages, shovel snow, and move cars. Trick burglars into thinking you are there. 

  • Use a smart lighting system that lets you program lights to come on at specific times each day. This is an easy way to make it look like you’re home.

Environmental Precautions

Break-ins aren’t the only thing that can plague travelers during the holidays. Protect your home from environmental damages by following a few simple maintenance precautions before you leave: 

  • Make sure you unplug all appliances in case of a power surge.

  • Check all smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working correctly before leaving.

  • Ensure the thermostat is set accordingly and with remote temperature control, to prevent your pipes from freezing during cold weather.

Stay Off Social Media

Although it is tempting to boast about your upcoming vacation and send well wishes to friends while you’re away, try not to, especially if your social profiles are public. If people know you are away, you could risk becoming a victim of burglary. Unfortunately, burglaries aren’t only committed by strangers, there’s actually a bigger risk of being targeted by someone you know. So, keep your holiday plans quiet.

These simple suggestions are a sure way of protecting your house this holiday season, so put these pointers into practice and have an enjoyable holiday knowing that your home is as safe as possible.

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