This post was created in partnership with Schlage. As always, all opinions are my own.
Now that summer is approaching, the weekends are full of moments to get out of town. (Ojai, Laguna Beach, and Santa Barbara always top my list.) But as you’re prepping—and packing—taking steps to increase your home’s security while you’re away can be the last thing on your mind. Here are a few ideas— some high tech, and some low— to get your home prepped and ready so you can go on vacation… and it can stay safe til you return.
1. Unplug Small Appliances
Did you know that the toaster and the coffee maker can suck power, even when they’re not being used? Unplugging what you can will not only help you conserve energy (small bits, but it adds up), but it will give you peace of mind that nothing can accidentally start an electrical fire while you’re away.
2. Stop the newspapers and mail
There’s nothing that’s more of a welcome mat to burglars than mail and newspapers piling up on your driveway. Unless you have a friendly neighbor that will come pick them up, it’s a good idea to halt delivery until you’re back home.
3. Get a smart lock
Smart locks have a whole host of features that make them helpful for life when you are home, but when you’re away, they provide added peace of mind and safety. Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt will send you a notification whenever it’s locked and unlocked, and will also let you assign an access code to anyone with permission to enter, like a relative, a housekeeper or a cat sitter (can be temporary, permanent, or recurring). So while you’re sunning yourself by the pool, you’ll know exactly who is coming and going (without having to leave keys under the mat, a major safety hazard). And if a neighbor wants to come by and return the book they borrowed, you can unlock and lock your home using the Schlage Home app from anywhere.
Need to receive an Amazon package while you’re away? No problem: The lock is also compatible with Key by Amazon (Amazon’s optional in-home delivery for Prime members), which means a one-time lock code will be assigned to the delivery person who can slip your package inside— and you’ll know the minute it arrives. No more porch pirates.
Two more features I love: The Schlage Encode is WiFi-connected, so setup is easy-peasy. Just install the lock (the Schlage Home app walks you through instructions step-by-step), then add it to your home’s Wifi: no hub or additional accessories are required. The lock also comes with built-in alarm technology, so you’ll know if someone tries to compromise the it.
4. Adding some smart lights
Thieves are hip to lights on timers that go on and off at the same time every day… it’s easy to figure out that they’re not being turned on by people inside the house. Smart lightbulbs, however, connect to your home’s Wifi and can be turned on and off from an app on your phone, whether you’re in the house or on the slopes. Pick a few lights that face the front of the house, then schedule them in a random pattern, or turn them on and off as you like… you’ll be pulling one over on anyone that’s casing your house.
5. Keep your front yard busy
If you’ve got a neighbor that loves you, ask them if they wouldn’t mind parking in your driveway while you’re gone. This way, your home will look like there are people coming and going. Park your own car in your garage if you have one, so that it isn’t obvious that it hasn’t moved for days. And make sure the gardener keeps cutting the grass so that your home doesn’t look deserted or neglected in any way.
What did I miss? Let me know how you prep your home for a vacay in the comments.