Can home automation protect your home while on holiday?
Holidays and travelling for work can be an adventure or at least a break from the monotony of life. When we’re away from home, there’s always some concern for our home’s safety. Many homeowners question can home automation protect your home while on holiday or working away.
For some, even going out for a meal can create many anxious thoughts. Did I lock all the doors? Was the heating turned off? What if there is a home emergency? The list can feel endless.
Thanks to modern technology, you shouldn’t need to worry. Gone are the days of simplistic alarm systems and grainy CCTV. Today’s home security tech is highly intelligent, flexible, and affordable.
According to research from 2020, two in five (41%) claimed that a smart security camera was their top priority for their next smart home purchase. Closely following this item is the smart doorbell at 35%. It seems we want to feel more secure in our homes and are looking to tech for the solution.
There’s no better time to invest in a smart home and start feeling secure than the present. Let’s take a look at steps we can take to secure your home with automation technology and ask ourselves, can home automation protect your home while on holiday?
Make your home look occupied
Fooling others into thinking you’re at home is especially useful when you want to deter burglars and avoid break-ins. Many technological solutions make it look like someone’s home and act as the ultimate break-in deterrent.
The next step is to use a smart home system as they can mimic your moves. If you always turn a light on at 6 pm and close the curtains at 8 pm, your system can be automated to continue doing this until the end of time.
If you have external lights, you can apply the same ideas and couple them with motion controlled lights to ensure entry points are well-lit and potential intruders are easier to catch in the act.
The majority of smart home security systems combine multiple elements to ensure threats are detected early and the system jumps into action. For example, when your external light senses motion, not only does it turn on but your Wi-Fi camera starts recording and pings your smartphone.
Having a system that combines multiple elements working in harmony is far more powerful than the individual parts.
Show your smart security cameras
Properties that don’t have a visible security system are three times more likely to be targeted by burglars. Even having an old out of date system can save you from untold misery.
Deter potential intruders by having visible security cameras. As long as your home has Wi-Fi, a smart security camera can live stream what’s happening at your home 24/7, and you can view the feed from anywhere with Wi-Fi.
Imagine being abroad yet still can monitor what’s happening at your home. Modern IP cameras are nothing like the basic CCTV of the past. Today’s modern security cameras stream HD video with night vision, multi-camera angles, audio and motion detection.
You don’t need to constantly monitor the live stream to reassure yourself that your home is safe as your smart security camera will send alerts and notifications directly to your smartphone if and when it detects movement or any suspicious activity.
Add safeguards to protect from emergencies
Investing in a smart home can save a life and help avoid serious costly damage to your property. They can detect fires, toxic gasses, and floods, amongst other potential hazards.
Consider installing a smart alarm system as it will monitor for smoke, fire and carbon monoxide. If it detects any of these, you’ll get an alert on your smartphone with advice on what to do next, where the danger is in your home, and what likely caused it.
You can jump into action and contact emergency services from anywhere if required or at least have a friend come and check your home.
Your home’s temperature is also vitally important while you’re away. Smart thermostats can help prevent frozen pipes and other issues by controlling or setting timers for your heating, even turning it on automatically if it detects the temperature of your home is too low.
Using tech to look after your property’s exterior and interior can help you save money, heartbreak, and give you peace of mind while away.
Add another level of security with smart door locks
A smart door lock automatically secures itself when you leave, removing the stress and worry of not knowing if you locked the door. Many models can even be doubled-check using your smartphone.
When you return or activate it remotely, your door unlocks, allowing you access to your home. You’ll never again be “locked out” or wondering if your home is unsecured. Plus, if someone has tried to and failed to gain access to your home, you’ll get an alert.
Most smart door locks offer multiple access methods. You can still use a key, but most work with pin codes. Some even allow you to trigger unlocking the door using your phone, as senses when you’re within two meters thanks to geofencing.
As you can give visitors a pin code, there’s no need to hand out keys or remember who has one. You can simply programme a time-sensitive pin code, which the system will automatically delete after. Plus, you can track when a code is used. So, you can ensure the cleaner showed up!
A smart door lock ensures peace of mind in a way that a traditional lock and key simply can’t.
Invest in a video doorbell
Security cameras are fantastic for capturing wide angles and items moving. Video doorbells allow you a close up look at the person (or pet) at your door. Plenty of options are available. Some work as a stand alone unit and others work as part of a wider home automation system.
Video doorbells mostly use Wi-Fi to stream video to your phone. Using the app, you can respond with voice and/or video. Many use built-in motion detectors to sense when someone is there before they push the button.
Plus, many allow you to record footage from the second they are triggered. So even if you’re away or unable to get to your phone, you’ll still have a video of who rang your bell and when.
In terms of products we recommend, both Ring and eufy offer superb stand alone video doorbells. If you already have Control4, for example, you can have your dealer install Chime. There are plenty of Z-Wave options if you’re using a Fibaro system.
Keep your pets happy with automation!
An aspect we rarely cover is pet care. If you travel for work, it’s worth investing in a smart automatic pet feeder. Your dog or cat craves a consistent schedule, which includes regular meal times, and it can be impossible to maintain if you’re away.
An automatic pet feeder can help keep your pet healthy and happy. If you haven’t used one of the devices before, you might not fully appreciate how life-changing they can be for you and your pet. So, you’ll want to try one with your pet and see how it transforms your life.
Use a few smart plugs
Even if you have a smart home system, you might want to keep a lamp on a smart plug allowing you to control it from anywhere or schedule it in advance. Of course, you can get smart plugs that can be part of a home automation system, such as the Fibaro Wall Plug.
However, running a separate Wi-Fi smart plug gives you additional flexibility and allows you to turn off/on a device at random times. You can pick up a smart plug for around £10, so they hardly break the bank but could save your home from intruders!
So, can home automation protect your home when you’re not there?
You now have plenty of ideas on how home automation can protect your home while you’re out or on holiday. You might find that after improving your home’s security, that your insurance premium is cheaper.
Our best advice is to invest in a home automation system with a robust security element. Don’t buy random devices and wonder why you don’t have an effective home security system.
So, can home automation protect your home while on holiday or travelling? Yes, it can! But before you invest in any devices, you should research and consider what you’re looking for in a home security system. Don’t jump the gun (pun intended) and buy any old system.