Checklist to Follow Before Heading Out for Vacation

Around 42% of Americans are estimated to take a vacation this year.

That's quite a few homes that are basically vacant for a period of time--- homes that are full of valuables, both monetary and emotional. 

To create peace of mind, travelers must properly secure their homes before heading out.

Below, Vector provide a checklist for homeowners to keep tabs on their property, and to ensure their possessions are safeguarded while away.

1. Secure Entry Points

  • Intruders most commonly enter homes through first-floor windows and doors. Take proper precautions to confirm all vulnerable entry points are secured before taking off:
  • Install smart locks and window sensors to deter intruders.
  • Sync your mobile device with smart home equipment to receive real-time alerts in case of an attempted break in.
  • Verify your security provider’s monitoring service center will dispatch emergency personnel should an intruder gain access to your home.

2. Schedule Lighting

  • A dark home may indicate to intruders that you are gone. Leverage smart lights by taking the following steps:
  •  Schedule lights to turn on when an alarm or sensor has been triggered or at regularly occurring intervals to give the illusion you are home.
  •  Install floodlights to illuminate your home’s exterior when movement is detected.

3. Set Up Mobile Alerts

  • Stay connected to your home and create peace of mind while on vacation with mobile monitoring:
  •  Download your security provider’s mobile application to keep tabs on your home at all times, and control your smart home devices on a single interface.
  •  Periodically check real-time footage from any web-enabled device remotely.
  •  Set up mobile alerts to receive immediate notifications if an intruder tampers with a door or window. Use your mobile app to visually verify what has triggered an alarm or image sensor.

4. Adjust Smart Thermostats

  • Safely limit the amount of energy used while on vacation, and ensure your home is ready when you return with a smart thermostat:
  •  Set your thermostat to a minimum temperature of 50 degrees to reduce the risk of pipes freezing or bursting.
  •  Use your mobile security app to reset your thermostat to a comfortable temperature before returning home.

5. Take Precautionary Measures

  • Burglars may be more likely to target a home that appears to be empty. Take additional safety measures to make it appear as though you never left, and to ensure your property is secure even when you’re not around:
  • Halt mail and newspaper delivery, or contact a trusted neighbor to pick it up for you. Accumulating mail may indicate your home is vacant.
  • Notify a trusted friend or neighbor of your travel plans and contact information.
  • Unplug all appliances and electronics to prevent short-circuiting and power surges, which may cause damage to your home or start a fire.
  •  Use social media cautiously, and avoid revealing your specific whereabouts online.
If you do have a security system, consider adding a neighbor or close (in proximity) friend who will be alerted by your alarm company if there is an issue. Depending on where you are going--- flying, a cruise, overseas---- you may be unable to respond to the call and otherwise call a friend to check on your home. Talk with your security company to find out the options of assigning a temporary contact to your emergency list.
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 Content provided by Vector.

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