Security + Safety

Tech that keeps an eye on home while you’re on vacay


The holidays are fast approaching, and I bet you’re doing some traveling before the end of the year. I’ve got two trips planned, and I couldn’t be more excited: We’ll be at the beach for a few days over Thanksgiving week, and then we’ll be skiing in Utah over Christmas. I looove having things on the calendar like this to look forward to… it makes the hustle of the season a bit more tolerable, you know?

As much as each vacation promises to be non-stop fun, I know my mind will occasionally wander to things back home: Is the house safe from burglars? Is anything leaking? Will my smoke detectors kick in if something catches fire? I’m not the world’s biggest worrier but, you know, stuff happens.

That’s why I’ve partnered with Liberty Mutual Insurance to show you how smart home technology can make your home a little bit safer while you’re away on vacay. They’re on a mission to help homeowners “worry less” (yes, please!), and they’re big believers in how smart home technology makes homes more secure. So much so, that they offer a Smart Home Discount on home insurance for qualified customers who adopt certain smart home gadgets.

So, why are smart devices better than their predecessors? It really comes down to remote access and monitoring: In other words, keeping an eye on things and controlling them from wherever you are.

  • The moment it sounds, a smart smoke alarm can send an alert to your phone. Pair that with a smart camera system, and you can immediately peer inside the house to see what’s going on.
  • A smart lock can tell you the status of your doors at all times, send you a text if your door is unlocked, and allow you to lock it remotely.
  • If an intruder is detected and you’re on a beach or slope somewhere, you can spring into action immediately— checking interior cameras, ringing an alarm and calling 911. All together, these devices give you so much more control over the protection of your home, and many of them do so without the monthly fee of a traditional home security service.

To be sure, smart home technology has security issues of its own. To keep yourself safe, make sure to keep firmware updated, and set complex passwords to add extra layers of protection. Once that’s taken care of, you can reap the safety benefits of smart home devices and keep your family safe from real-life and virtual bad guys.

Let’s look at connected devices that can help you vacate your house with peace of mind this holiday season.

August Lock: Smart home security

Smart Locks

Locks are only a safety feature when you remember to lock them (or don’t leave a key under the mat for intruders to find). Devices like the August Smart Lock make it easy to assign virtual keys to anyone in the family, so all they need to do is approach the door with their smartphone and it will open. Temporary keys can be assigned to dog walkers, friends or houseguests that expire when no longer needed, and you’ll get a text when anyone enters so you know exactly who is coming and going. Keypads and key fobs also allow those without smartphones to enter (so grandma knows she’s always welcome).

  Nest Protect: Smart home security

Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A Nest Protect smart smoke & carbon monoxide detector is heroic when it comes to home safety— you can check the status of the battery at any time, and test with ease (so you know they’re on and they work). If they detect smoke or high CO levels, not only will the alarm sound, but an alert also goes straight to your smartphone, so you know immediately.

Notion: Smart home security

Water Sensors

Pipes burst. Hot water heaters break. And suddenly your basement of memories (or furniture…or tax files) is destroyed. A home sensor like Notion is one that you can place by your water heater (or washing machine, another leak culprit), so you’ll know the instant there’s a leak. Customizable notifications on your smartphone shares exactly where water is detected, the second a leak breaks out. Having this one small sensor in place could help save you money, as well as those priceless baby pictures.

  Canary: Smart home security

Home Security System

An all-in-one home security system like Canary gives you even more information than a traditional alarm system can. An HD camera broadcasts a live stream of video to the app on your phone, so you can use it to check on the house, kids or pets while you’re away. It also monitors the air temperature and humidity, so you’re aware if the house suddenly starts to freeze (or swelter). Finally, if you detect an intruder, you can sound a 90 decibel alarm and reach local authorities to stop your home invasion in its tracks.

Thanks to Liberty Mutual for partnering on this post. Thank YOU, readers, for supporting our sponsors that help me create great content. 

Photo by Notion


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