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    Categories: Fresh Thinking

4 tips to keep your home safe while on vacation

Summer is a prime time for adventure and travel, and it can also be peak season for home burglaries.  Here are a few precautionary and proactive steps you can take to secure your home this summer.

Step 1: Avoid signs your home is vacant

Stop your mail and newspaper or ask a neighbor to gather these items for you so they don’t accumulate on your property. Or ask a neighbor to periodically park in your driveway to show signs of activity.

Step 2: Lock up social media

Your social media has become a rich resource for criminals. Keep profile settings to private and never post photos or other messages on social media about your vacation while you’re still away. Travel posts are like news alerts that your home is empty.   It’s best to wait until you return before sharing those precious images with friends and family.

Step 3: Identify hiding spots and easy points of entry

Homes with lots of overgrowth and natural coverage provide hiding spots that make it easier to break into your home.   Keep your bushes, hedges and trees trimmed, especially around entrance points in the home.

Next, look for vulnerable areas of your house such as the garage door.  Consider using a C-clamp on garage doors while you’re gone or integrating a smart garage controller on your phone so you can remotely keep tabs on whether it’s opened or closed.

Windows are another common way for burglars to enter a home, so double check all are closed and locked. If you have a window air conditioning unit, installing window frame locks could prevent a criminal from pushing out the unit and entering the home.

Step 4: Consider smart home technology

Smart home technology is creating greater innovation in home security that includes security cameras, motion sensors, smart locks, adjustable light bulbs, connected thermostats, smoke alarms and more.  With a smart home system, you can check on your house remotely and get notified if a window is opened or broken.  A smart home system also allows you to set lights to turn on and off throughout the day.

Iris now offers professional home monitoring, a service that dispatches emergency first responders to your home in the event of a security, smoke, carbon monoxide or panic alarm, with no long-term contracts required so users can enroll on an annual basis or for a short time while they’re away.

Summer should be a time of relaxation instead of worry. These four steps can help you be smart about securing your home.  Enjoy that vacation!