Thanksgiving week represents one of our favorite parts of the year for a few reasons. For starters, we have the holiday itself to look forward to. A big warm meal surrounded by friends and family marks an annual highlight. Moreover, this also represents the beginning of the longer holiday season that takes us all the way through the upcoming year! However, with all of this joy also comes the security threats of the holiday season. From kitchen pratfalls to leaving your home empty during travel, getting out of the house can cause issues. For these reasons, we get seasonal today and share our tips for creating complete Thanksgiving security this year.
First, we’ll look at how to secure your home against holiday fire hazards. Thanksgiving represents one of the biggest cooking days of the year. It should come as no surprise that it’s also one of the most fire-prone days of the year as well. From there, we’ll review some travel-related security tips. Of course, Thanksgiving week has long remained one of the most popular days for family travel. Therefore, addressing the security threat presented by an extendesd absence frome home should take priority this holiday season. Now, let’s get started with a look at creating fire-related Thanksgiving security.
Securing Your Home Against Holiday Fire Hazards
On their website, the NFPA calls Thanksgiving “the peak day for home cooking fires.” This should come as no surprise, given that fact that Thanksgiving is also the peak day for home cooking. Constant food preparation provides countless opportunities for a fire to start or for carbon monoxide (or “CO”) levels to build. This makes keeping your fire and carbon monoxide devices in working order especially important around Thanksgiving. Testing the devices that alert you to these events minimizes the danger of a potential situation getting out of hand.
Of course, large gatherings of people eating meals together also create potential fire hazards unrelated to cooking. Perhaps you like to use fall-scented candles as part of a festive centerpiece on your table. Or maybe you have a number of guests whose coats, hats, and gloves end up on a radiator or heater in a bedroom while everyone sits around a table in the dining room. Watching out for these types of circumstances can significantly improve your Thanksgiving security when it comes to fire hazards.
Additionally, make sure to keep an extra eye on children around the kitchen. Tots have a way of wanting to “adjust” oven knobs or touch hot burners. Many accidents happen this way while adults take a post-feast nap or enjoy a holiday beverage with friends and family. Feel free to read up on our post on Improving Fire Safety for Your Family for more general tips on this topic.
Finally, we also recommend installing monitored smoke and CO detection. If you have an alarm system in your home, we can install devices that create a fire department dispatch in response to emergenices related to these threats. In turn, this could save your home in the case of a fire during your absence. More importantly, this equipment could also save the life of you or a family member if a fire occurs while you are home! Next up, let’s look at how keeping your travel plans quiet can help you with creating complete Thanksgiving security this season.
Keeping Your Travel Plans in the Family
The role of social media in keeping up with friends and family has increased greatly over the past several years. Additionally, the ability to quickly share photos and memories of vacations has increased as well. However, sharing these memories before returning home often represents a security foul! Remember, the likelihood that people outside of your close circle of trusted people can see these pictures is often quite high. We all fall out of touch with some of our social media peers. Additionally, “friends of friends” may see these photos as your friends comment on them.
We strongly recommend limiting the amount of social media contacts that can view your posted content. Just as importantly, we recommend waiting until your return to share photos of your travels. Doing so will help you avoid advertising the fact that you have an empty home. While your home is empty, we also always recommend taking a few additional precautions to help disguise the reality of an empty house. Now, let’s look at how doing just this can assist in creating complete Thanksgiving security!
Disguising an Empty Home
Burglars know the best times of the year to find an empty home, and they do their best to take advantage. Making it less obvious that your home is empty makes it a less attractive target for thieves. In this section, we will look at a couple approaches to making your home look less empty during family trips. We’ll start by examining some smart home technology that we provide to accomplish this goal. From there, we’ll look at some common-sense approaches to minimizing the risk of leaving your home empty.
Using Smart Security Products to Your Advantage
In our Vacation Security System To-Do List, we discussed the importance of making your house look at least potentially occupied at all times. Installing some basic home automation devices can help you accomplish this task. If you have a security system with an interactive cellular dialer, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, you can easily add these smart home features. This cell dialer features a Z-Wave smart home hub that allows it to connect seamlessly with any Z-Wave enabled smart security devices! Smart lights, for example, provide you many opportunities to make your home look occupied. You can turn lights on and off in real time with your smartphone while you are away. Additionally, these lights allow you to create time schedules to turn them on and off. Or, if you find this too predictable, you can set up a randomized light schedule.
Many of our customers also look for smart home products that help keep an eye on their homes during vacation. We have a couple options that provide this opportunity. We offer wifi-powered cameras that record and store motion-based video clips for later reference. You can watch these cameras through a smart phone or computer at any time for a live check-in. Additionally, your cameras can send live video clips upon detecting activity in real time. This allows you to immediately alert the authorities if needed.
Finally, the Alarm.com doorbell cameras that we install add an extra layer of security. These cameras do everything that the cameras listed above can accomplish. Additionally, they also allow you to talk to any visitor who rings the doorbell. As we discussed in our post on Burglars in Disguise, most criminals do ring the doorbell before attempting a break-in. The ability to view and even interact with these potential burglars greatly enhances your Thanksgiving security if you plan on traveling. Now that we’ve seen a couple ways to use technology to keep an eye on your home during your travels, let’s also review some simple “best practices” to help you accomplish this same goal.
Maintaining Your Home’s Appearance
You can help maintain your home’s “occupied” appearances by involving others in your Thanksgiving security plan as well. We always recommend asking the post office to hold your mail during your absence. Burglars see a consistently full mailbox as a sign of an empty home. Additionally, consider asking a trusted neighbor to watch your mailbox as well. Occasionally burglars will put junk mail in peoples’ mailboxes themselves to see what happens. Having a neighbor on the lookout for this can help thwart clever criminals trying to find an empty home.
Asking a neighbor to occasionally park a car in your driveway can also make your home appear occupied. A consistently empty driveway often points to a consistently empty home, so this can help. Furthermore, having someone you trust occasionally go inside your home and check on things for you adds both security and peace of mind. The more help you can get to maintain your home’s appearance, the more security you will experience over this holiday season.
Putting it All Together and Creating Complete Thanksgiving Security
Whether you plan on celebrating at home or traveling, we hope you’ve found some useful ideas for creating complete Thanksgiving security in this post. It is unfortunate that disaster often strikes at the times of the year that families look forward to the most. However, following these tips and thinking ahead can greatly reduce your vulnerability during this time of the year. If you have any questions about the material in this post, we encourage you to contact us. We will happily answer any questions you may have.
Additionally, we also encourage you to take advantage of our free site survey program. We offer complimentary security audits and equipment quotes to both new and existing customers alike. While on site, we can address any and all of your security concerns. Together, we can create a complete plan to keep your family as safe and secure as possible during this Thanksgiving season and beyond!