Prepare a House for your Vacation
Especially for northeast dwellers, the spring and summer months are the ideal seasons for vacationing, leisure, and relaxation. Still, leisure and relaxation can be difficult to achieve if your home isn't protected. Simple points like temperature and security represent the main concerns to keep in mind before leaving your home. Keep your priorities straight: prepare your house for your vacation before you leave, and stay informed while you're away.
1. 'Observed' Security: There are many different considerations for security in a vacation house, but we'll focus on a few key areas. We can all imagine the horror of a vandalized/infiltrated home when returning from vacation, and the points of concern extend far beyond a simple 'door alarm'. A dark house with an empty garage can draw attention to your home for a burglar, even if you've coated the windows with 'Protected By' stickers. Ultimately, the observed security, or the "look" of an empty house can play a large role in protection. By installing lights for doors, paths, and window areas, the house will appear "highlighted" versus a dark house without illumination. For a burglar, anything that is highlighted or illuminated is an inexpensive deterrent to their operations. Motion detectors are an excellent example of 'observed' protection; the spotlight flash from the sensor works like a visual alarm, pushing would-be snoopers away from doors, windows, and other exterior parts of the home. Again, there is a reason that most burglaries occur at night, so be sure to use light to your advantage whenever possible.
2. Helping Hands: This is a highly underrated concept, and unfortunately, not enough homeowners have trusted/active relationships with their neighbors. When preparing a house for vacation, a trusted neighbor is an incredibly valuable lifeline. If you do have a good relationship with your neighbors, exchange contact information and provide them with a set of keys. If you have pets, this is preferable to giving a key to a house sitter or dog walker (whom you may or may not know). A trusted neighbor can hear, see, and report anything irregular or concerning. This level of human protection can be very helpful, and with a friendly neighbor, you avoid hiring a house/pet sitter that may come from an unknown source. Further, if you ever have a 'Kevin!' moment, an urgent change or forgotten duty is literally a phone call away. Don't place too much reliance on the neighbor for overwatch; this is merely an extra line of human defense while you're taking a vacation.
3. Automation Technologies: Even an attentive and responsible neighbor may miss a critical problem or issue. For all of the safeguards that one can have, automation technologies and alerting systems are a 24/7/365 shield against fire, flooding, and humidity. Especially during the summer months, a flood may go unnoticed to even the most responsible of neighbors/house sitters, and by the time of discovery, it may already be too late. In preparation for a vacation, keep your home protected by flood, temperature, and humidity sensors for added safety. Alerts are the unbiased window into the status of your home, and with a trusted neighbor, you can divert immediate attention to the problem as it occurs and prevent further trouble/disaster. On the other hand, temperature sensors can provide insight into the status of many other systems in your home (air conditioners, etc), and abnormal temperature readings can indicate a variety of problems. Specifically for pet owners, high temperatures can be suffocating and can endanger the pets over time. With an automated temperature alerting system for flooding, temperature, and/or humidity, you can stay fully protected against a disaster as you relax on the beach or countryside. When preparing your house for vacation, monitor as many sensitive points as possible.