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Applications & Solutions : Simple Tips for Safeguarding Your Home While Traveling

Applications, Security, Residential

Simple Tips for Safeguarding Your Home While Traveling

Many people have travel plans this holiday season – keep your home secure while away with these simple tips.

Home Security

These affordable and effective tips will help keep your home secure and give you peace-of-mind when traveling this holiday season.

In the Christmas movie classic Home Alone, young and resourceful Kevin McCallister sets various booby traps to protect his home from bad guys:  toy cars and trucks strewn about the floor, water down already icy outside entryway stairs, and pounds of feathers poised to prevent foul play. With the installation of a few simple and affordable controls, you won’t have to go to such great lengths to protect your home while you’re away over the holidays.

Let’s start with your home’s exterior and creating the illusion of presence. It’s important to be sure newspapers, mail or any home deliveries don’t pile up in the driveway or on the front stoop. If you can’t put a hold on subscriptions or mail service, ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your place so it looks tidy to passers-by. 

Photocontrols and Exterior Lighting Timers 

Your home’s exterior lights should never remain on 24/7. Installing a photocontrol or a timer with astronomic functionality to control light fixture switching will ensure lamps turn on at sunset and off at sunrise each day. 

In-Wall and Plug-In Timers 

Inside your home, be sure to use in-wall timers to turn lights on and off throughout the day and night. Look for programmable timers with a “random” setting. This setting varies the time lights come on and off each day to create a lived-in look. Plug-in timers on selected lamps, such as in a bedroom or living room, can also be set to turn on when it gets dark and off at 11:00 p.m. to simulate bedtime. 

Motion Detectors 

If a neighbor or friend will be checking in on your home, motion or occupancy sensors are a great way to light the way for them while enhancing safety and security. Occupancy sensors turn on when presence is detected, so when your neighbor comes inside, there will be no worry about throwing off your programmed light schedules. A manual button on an in-wall occupancy sensor can also be used as an override switch. When you’ve returned from your trip, you’ll appreciate the energy savings occupancy sensors provided by making sure lights were turned off when no one was in a room. 
In-wall timers are also useful for pet owners who like to leave televisions or stereos on to help ease anxiety, create familiar noise or provide stimulation for animals left at home. A timer can be set to your schedule, so the shows your pet is used to hearing when you’re home can still be heard each day you are away. 

Don’t forget the fish 

An automatic fish feeder will ease any worries you may have about the care of your ornamental fish. Better than a well-meaning friend who may be overly generous with fish food, an automatic fish feeder precisely matches feeding times and quantities to the biorhythm of the fish. Whether you use flake food or larvae, tablets or drugs, anything can be dispensed to your exact schedule. In fact, a one-time filling can supply an aquarium with up to 28 days of food for those lucky enough to take an extended holiday. 

Whole House Surge Protection 

Pulling the plug on some of your electronics, like your desktop computer and printer, toaster oven, and coffee maker help save money while you're gone since many appliances draw energy even when they're turned off. It will also eliminate that nagging feeling you get when you’re several hours away that something may have been accidentally left ON. 
For electrical loads that need to always remain on, such as the refrigerator, pumps, furnace and DVR system, be sure they stay protected from power surges with a whole house surge protective device. A whole house surge protector provides protection for expensive equipment such as HVAC equipment, appliances, flat screen TVs and everything else in your home that is plugged into an electrical outlet. 
Finally, check your police department’s website for more burglary prevention tips. Many police departments cover a spectrum of valuable advice, from using deadbolts, dowels, or locking pins in sliding glass doors and windows, to keeping mum about your vacation plans on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other social networking sites. Your city’s police may even offer to conduct vacation checks of your property. 
Whether you are exploring one of Conde Nast’s Top 10 Holiday Destinations or traveling back to the town of your youth, follow these simple, preventive tips for a greater peace-of-mind and an enjoyable vacation this season. Best of all, you won’t need a special effects team to implement your plans – you’ll find what you need at 

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