You’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what to pack, but have you given any thought to how to prepare your home for your absence?
Okay, so you’ve just made it through a long, cold winter and now you’re going to treat yourself to a trip down south. We’ll focus on how some recent advances in technology can help you stay in touch with your home when you are a thousand miles away.
Monitored security systems help deter vandals; if you have one, insurance companies even offer discounts on home insurance. However, modern security alarms can now do a lot more than just notify of a break-and-enter. With your system hooked up to the Internet, you can use an app to not only control your system from wherever you are, but you can also receive other types of notifications right to your smartphone. Would you like to know when your neighbour arrives to feed your cat? Receive an e-mail notification when they arrive in real time. Are you unsure if you armed your system before your plane took off? Maybe your caretaker is having trouble shutting off the alarm. No worries! You can do those things right from a convenient app on your phone.
Look in on your home while you’re away, and keep recordings of any alarm-triggering events. Just like the alarm, you can use a simple app on your smartphone to access the cameras in your house and observe what’s going on, from anywhere in the world. I recommend pointing your cameras toward areas of concern, like the front and back doors, as well as areas that are prone to flooding, like the sump pump.
No longer just for the rich and famous, “home automation” is now affordable for any homeowner with the help of apps such as Alarm.com or Honeywell’s TotalConnect service. Imagine being able to check in on your thermostats when you hear that there’s a cold snap back home while you’re relaxing in the sunny south. Now you can turn up the heat to prevent frozen pipes, right from your smartphone. Or maybe you want to control certain lights on a schedule to deter burglars. Give your home a lived-in look while you’re away, simply by using the app.
Sensors can be added to your alarm system that monitor all kinds of conditions. Smoke Detectors, Carbon Monoxide Detectors, Propane Leakage Detectors, Low Temperature Sensors, and Flood Detectors can keep you informed as if you hadn’t even left. If any of these devices goes off, your central monitoring station will know exactly what the problem is before extensive damage occurs.