Memorial Day is the harbinger of summer. But before you set off on your summer vacation, don’t forget to protect your home while you’re away. Did you know that Memorial Day is the third top holiday for car thefts, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau?
Your home may also be at an increased risk if you live in or near a tourist town. On Memorial Day weekend in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina—a popular vacation spot—saw“hundreds of police reports,” and more violence took place that weekend than Independence Day. According to the report, the top Memorial Day weekend crimes were larceny and burglary.
We’ve outlined some simple guidelines to ensure your home is secure this holiday weekend and whenever you are away:
Call a Friend
Ask a family member, neighbor or close friend to keep an eye on your home for any suspicious activity. If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, discuss lawn care with maintenance company or your house sitter; a lawn that looks unkempt is a sign of vacancy. Place a hold on your mail or have a neighbor collect your mail and any packages for you. Overflowing mail and packages left unattended are a sure sign that a house is vacant.
Pull the Plug
Unplugging electronics and appliances not only saves you money, but it safeguards your home from an electrical fire or power surge. Unplug your TV, microwave, toaster oven, coffee maker, and any extension cords or power strips not being used for lamps. According to the National Fire Protection Association, “an estimated 47,700 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments involved some type of electrical failure or malfunction.”
All Systems Go
Now is the perfect time to install a home security system or home automation system, or upgrade your existing security system to include home automation devices. You’ll see the value of having an interactive surveillance system’s when you’re on vacation, as it offers unprecedented levels of convenience and peace of mind.
You can use your smartphone or tablet to monitor and control your home remotely while you’re away, such as
- Ensuring doors and windows are securely locked throughout your home.
- Adjusting the heating and cooling with a comfortable temperature, which saves money.
- Creating the illusion that you’re home. By programming your lights on an automatic schedule to switch on and off, it makes your home appear active.
- Keep tabs on visitors with automatic alerts through video surveillance. You’ll know the exact moment when your house sitter, or anyone else, arrives at your home.
- Check in on your property utilizing remote camera monitoring. Take a peek in or outside your house to ensure all systems are running smoothly, and everything is in its place.
In closing, it’s very important to think through the risks that are unique to your home. Do you have a faulty garage door? Are expensive electronics or other valuable items in plain view from your first-floor windows? Take a look at your house from an intruder’s perspective: what’s vulnerable and valuable about your property and assets? Take proactive steps to mitigate any risks in order to enjoy your vacation and return to find your home safe and secure.