Going home for the holidays was once a good thing, with anticipation of seeing family versus anxiety about leaving your home all day. Programmable devices are changing our homes into smart homes. Yet the fear of a left empty house at any time of year is less of a concern. Continue reading for advice on how to leave your smart home alone.
How to Make Your Empty Smart Home Look Busy
Some people take the standard precautions when going on vacation to leave interior lights on for a day. Some would stop mail delivery so that would-be burglars do not suspect the house is empty. Your IoT devices, Web-connected security cameras, and smart thermostats — can help you keep tabs on your home from afar. Even make it appear occupied and lively.
Begin with a solid foundation for your away game strategy. It entails ensuring that your smart home is secure while you are away. Although your smart home devices may prevent intruders like the ones in Home Alone, hackers may still target your home.
- Install security cameras that connect inside and outside your home to check for unusual activity and receive alerts on your smartphone.
- Set smart lights to turn on in different rooms at different times of the day to mimic your typical at-home routine.
- If your TV is visible from outside, set it to turn on for an hour or two every evening.
- Install a smart lock on your front door if your cat sitter or cleaners will need access while you are away. Maintaining these services will also contribute to the illusion that someone is at home.
Get an Alarm System
It’s difficult to say how many potential intruders are put by home alarm systems. As you search the web, you will come across contradictory answers. Some intruders will not tamper with security systems. Some people are fine with turning off specific brands.
But, regardless of their feelings toward alarm systems, most would-be burglars do not want to be caught. So get a security system that continues to alert even when turned off. A burglar will likely bypass your home in favor of a less difficult target.
Add Window Sensors
Window sensors are also referred to as open/closed sensors or entry sensors. They will notify you when it opens or closes when attached to a window or door. Protecting potential entry points is an excellent first step toward securing your home.
You can use sensors in both home security and home automation systems. Cause-and-effect actions that span both can be created. You could program the sensor to turn on your bedroom light if your door opens after midnight. You can also have it text you if the door opens while you’re away.
Add Security Sign
A security sign is the next best thing if you don’t need a complete security system. Intruders seek easy targets, and the threat of a security system may deter them. Use a genuine sign; a forgery will not fool professionals.
Add Glass Break Sensors
A glass break sensor detects the sound of glass shattering. These little beauties are especially useful in rooms with many windows. Most door/window sensors cost around $40 each, and you’ll need one for each window you want to track. But, a single glass break sensor can track an entire roomful of windows for around $80.
Invest in Smart Doorbells
Smart doorbells serve as both your eyes and ears. When your doorbell rings, you can use the equipment to confirm who is at the door. Some products also include two-way communication, particularly useful when you are not at home but want to appear to be.
Track Intruders with Light Automation
Light automation is an excellent way to make your home appear more lively. BeON, for example, builds its entire home security model on light automation that mimics your in-home behavior. Other home automation companies let you create custom schedules or actions. For example, “turn on lights if motion is detected” or “turn off lights when I’m not at home.”
Make Porch Light Automatic
In the dark, a peephole is useless. We recommend installing electronic porch lights. It includes anything from motion-activated lights to a system that allows you to turn them on and off at sunset and sunrise.
Shut Your Motorized Blinds
Lights on, but it’s dark outside? You can keep your blinds close. It is surprising how many burglars (or creeps) take advantage of the time of night when they can see straight into your home. People who pass by your house will never know that the house is empty.
Use Smart Passwords For Your Smart Home
You should do more than plug and play because you can. Choose difficult passwords for your smart home devices and rotate them. Using a secure wireless network and passcode devices reduces the possibility of hacking your home. That way, intruders will have difficulty opening your doors while you’re away!
Install a Heat Sensor or a Connected Smoke Alarm
You can install a smoke alarm or a heat sensor in your home to take things to the next level. Heat sensors detect sudden temperature increases. You can also set up mobile or email alerts when you connect them.
Automate Your Neighborhood Watch
You can use IFTTT to automate your home and notify your neighbors when something goes wrong. Calling the cops is great, but your neighbors are much closer.
What method would you use to notify your neighbors? Assume you have SmartThings door and window sensors and are going on vacation. You can program an IF recipe that says, “If the front door opens, post to Facebook.”
Add Flood or Freeze Sensors
Pipes that are broken or frozen can cause significant damage. Home smart automation can detect these dangers. You can track temperature and water with freeze sensors and flood sensors. If the sensors detect an issue, they will notify you so that you can address it before it becomes a major problem.
Teach internet safety
The internet is fantastic but can also be a huge hole in your home’s security. Teach your children basic internet safety to keep them from inviting internet strangers into your home or disclosing sensitive information. You can be at ease knowing that your children will do great while you’re away.