December is nearly upon us, which means that many of you will be starting to plan your annual holiday festivities. Indeed, when the air is filled with celebration, we all spend much more time away from the home – whether we’re rushing around the high street looking for gifts to buy for our loved ones, gate crashing one party after another, going away on vacation or partaking in extended family visits, the more the party atmosphere takes hold of us, the less time we seem to spend at the homestead.
And that makes winter one of the most prevalent times for intruders, as many homes are left vacant for extended periods of time. Whilst you’re out enjoying yourself, your jewellery, your computer, TV and other electronics, and the piles of gifts that you’ve generously stashed away for your friends and family, are all left at the mercy of your home security system.
Don’t let anyone steal your life away this winter – we’ve got 10 super security tips to help you keep your property and your belongings secure as we move into 2016 and beyond.
Top 10 Security Tips When Leaving The Home
1. Intruder Alarms
The first thing that you need to do is make sure that your home is set up with a reliable intruder alarm. If the bad guys come when you’re out and about, an intruder alarm will be your first line of defence. In many cases, the very presence of such an alarm will work as a deterrent – you’re serious about safety, and most intruders are just as serious about not getting caught. With an intruder alarm in place, you’re letting a potential burglar know that you’re prepared to take extra measures to protect your home, and that they won’t get away with trying to cross the threshold while you’re not there.
Give your home beady eyes that can watch over everything while you’re away. Just like intruder alarms, CCTV systems act as outstanding burglar-deterrents, for they allow you to watch everything that’s happening even when you’re not there. The livelihood of the intruder will depend ultimately on not being seen and not getting caught, and your CCTV system removes these options completely. Invest in a standalone DVRS and you can record everything that’s happening to your home whether you’re there or not, enabling you to provide solid information and evidence to the authorities should the unthinkable happen.
3. Home Automation
To really put your mind at ease and give you the ability to check up on the security status of your home from wherever you are in the world, then it makes the best sense to invest in some home automation equipment. By using something like the Zipabox Gateway, you can ensure that your home stays smart, stays connected and stays linked to you whilst you’re away. The Zipabox is a cost-effective solution for networking all of the technology – security related, or otherwise – in your smart home. Plugging into any outlet, the Zipabox communicates seamlessly with all of your connected gadgets in the house – from your intruder alarm, to your CCTV, your window sensors and your smart lights – and connects them directly to the cloud, meaning that you can use your smartphone, tablet or desktop to monitor and manage them from anywhere in the world.
4. Door And Window Sensors
Door and window sensors are a great innovation that automatically detect when a door, window or other opening object (such as a safe, jewellery box, or cabinet) is open or shut. When you leave the house, you want to know immediately if any windows suddenly open – and the Zipato Door and Window Sensor will alert you immediately should such a thing happen. The Zipato device works quite simply with a sensor and magnet. Whilst one piece is fixed to the door or window frame, the other piece is mounted on the door or window itself. When aligned, everything is fine – but if the two components become separated, then the Zipato sends a report that the door or window has been opened. Connected to your home automation device, you and the authorities can be alerted the second a door or window is opened when it shouldn’t be.
5. Smart Lights
Most robberies occur when everyone’s out, but with smart lighting control solutions you can make your house appear occupied, even when it isn’t. Through the use of home automation controls, you can very simply set inside and outside lights to come on in the evening and turn off in the morning.
Beyond The Gadgetry – 5 Practical Tips to Keep Your Home Safe
6. Keep It Quiet
Don’t announce your holiday plans on social network sites, as this simply informs everybody that your house will be unoccupied for the next two weeks or what have you. This is very useful information for the criminal-minded.
7. Don’t Advertise Your New Toys
If you receive or buy a new TV, laptop, or other expensive item, then don’t advertise it to the world by dumping the empty boxes by the rubbish bins outside – this could be all the incentive someone needs to take a chance and make your home their next target. Rip up the boxes and either take them to the recycling plant yourself, or just make sure that they’re concealed in plastic bags when you dump them.
8. Beware Cold Callers
Whilst there are many legitimate sales people and charity workers who travel from door-to-door peddling wares or soliciting donations, there are some who are simply faking these personas in order to gain access to your house. Always ask for ID, never invite them inside, and call the company they say they’re working for to ensure the visit was genuine. If it isn’t, then notify the authorities immediately that there’s a suspicious person in the neighbourhood posing as someone he/she isn’t.
9. Count On Your Neighbours
If you’re going away for an extended period of time, enlist a trusted neighbour to bring up trash cans and collect newspapers and mail. These items can be a dead giveaway to intruders that a house is empty when they remain unmoved over time.
10. Extension Cords
Never run an extension cord out of a window – even if it means sacrificing on the inclusion of some particularly decorative outdoor lighting. Running extension cords through windows causes them not to close or latch properly, which can create an easy entry point for burglars.
Got any more tips to keep your home secure while you’re away? Please share your thoughts in the comments below. And for more information about any of the gadgets mentioned in this blog post, then either visit our products pages or drop us a line – we’re always happy to help.