These last several months have seemed like an odd sort of purgatory. We trek back and forth between home and work, doing little else. Or we’re working from home, and getting to Walmart counts as a change of pace. It’s been anything but restful — a staycation that’s stayed a bit too long. So if you’re looking to get away from it all this winter, it’s a good idea to plan ahead to make sure your home security system is ready — and if it’s not, to call to a home security system service in Troy.
Enlist a Friend…
It’s a good idea to have someone keep tabs on your home while you’re gone. They should have a spare key to let themselves in, bring in the mail, and spot-check the premises. They should also have a list of important contacts, like your mobile phone and the phone numbers for anywhere you’ll be staying. If nobody’s available, put a hold on mail with the post office, and pause any subscriptions or deliveries until after your return.
…But Don’t Tell Just Anyone/Everyone
Conversely, there are many people — most of them, in fact — who don’t need to know you’re on vacation until you’re home and sharing photos. Even people who are trustworthy themselves might let something slip in conversation, or a friend of a friend may see something in your social media that lets them know you’re not around. Don’t leave your home vulnerable by announcing your absence.
Check Your Security System
Commercial and residential alarm systems and monitoring need to be maintained. If you haven’t had yours checked and serviced in a while, reach out to Vigilante Security. From your burglar alarm to fire alarm system and anything else you may have — or want — installed, we’re here to ensure you’ve got a set of eyes on your home even when you’re not there.
Smart homes — from timers for lights, to smart thermostats — are especially good for the times you’re away. You can monitor your home from anywhere your mobile device has connectivity; you can also make adjustments to heat, lighting, and other systems, so that your lights and other indications of an occupied house aren’t all turning on at the same time every day (which often alerts thieves that you’re gone). Bonus: these systems, when properly designed and installed, can integrate seamlessly with monitored home alarm systems.
Check Your Infrastructure
You know all the stuff that labors away, keeping you comfortable? Take some time to check up on it. Inspect your plumbing, check your water heater, furnace and air filters, test your sump pump, and shut off the water so you don’t come home to a bad leak or burst pipes. If you think that’s excessive, environmental monitoring that alerts you to emergencies like a leak or the presence of carbon monoxide is a worthwhile investment — it’ll protect you all day, every day, year ‘round.
Hardly anything in your home needs to be plugged in and wasting power while you’re not there. You’ll want to keep your refrigerator, your alarm system, your router (if you have a smart home), and your alarm system powered up, but everything else can be unplugged.
Do Some Winter Cleaning
Check your yard, making sure that ladders and tools are put away somewhere that nobody can use them to break in. If you have a fake rock, gnome, or some other hiding spot for your spare set of keys, get rid of it; those are the first places someone will look. And make arrangements for snow removal while you’re gone, too.
Plan for the Worst, But Hope for the Best
Secure any important documents — identification, paperwork, insurance policies — in a safe or a safe deposit box. And before you pack up and leave, we suggest making an inventory of valuables (with photos) in the event of a break-in. That list, and the photographic proof, can keep the claims process from dragging on. While nothing can be 100% effective in preventing break-ins, fires, and other home emergencies while you’re gone, that doesn’t mean you need to spend your entire vacation in a state of high anxiety. You’re taking this time to get away from all that, so do it right. Call Vigilante Security for home security solutions that protect you year ‘round, and 24/7 home security monitoring that ensures a rapid response.