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Summer Security Tips for Homeowners

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With the summer solstice in the rearview mirror, this week marks the first full week of summer. We recognize that each season brings its own unique security concerns. In this week’s post, we’ll share some of our most valuable tips for creating summer security in your home. We’ll begin by addressing some of the simpler security lapses that people make during this season. Many summer crimes happen because easy opportunities present themselves to criminals. From there, we’ll discuss securing your home in your absence. Both traveling with your family or leaving parts of your family at home during summer vacation create unique summer security concerns.

Finally, we’ll examine specific alarm system-based security tips to add seasonal security to your home. Our alarm systems can keep you in the know about important security events happening in and around your home. We’ll show you how to take advantage of these features. Additionally, we can help you use your existing alarm system to prepare for seasonal weather emergencies. More than any other season, summer brings with it the threat for severe weather. Let’s begin with a look at common summer security oversights, and how to stop them.

An open window in a home.

Whether done by accident or by design, leaving windows open can allow burglars easy access into homes during the summer. Photo Credit: glasseyes view on Flickr. Used under the CC BY-SA 2.0 License.

Remain Vigilant with Window and Door Security

Many of our customers admit to leaving windows, and occasionally even doors, open for long periods of time during warmer weather. After all, who doesn’t want a cool breeze blowing through their homes? Unfortunately, many homeowners fail to fully secure their homes before leaving. This can lead to easy break-in opportunities for neighbors or passersby with sticky fingers. We recommend checking all doors and windows before leaving the house, especially in the summer months.

Furthermore, we can help you use your alarm system to create additional summer security to fight this danger. Adding sensors to individual windows can help ensure that you don’t leave windows open in your absence. If you attempt to arm your security system with an open window, the alarm will “protest” and let you know which window(s) remain open. Many of our customers add individual window sensors for this very reason. Taking care to follow this step can help you from becoming “low hanging fruit” for summertime crime. Now, let’s look at some tips for securing your home during the extended absences that summer often brings.

Security for Summer Excursions

If you plan on leaving the house for several hours or more, make your absence as inconspicuous as possible. For one, we recommend leaving details or pictures of your trips off of social media. Acquaintances or the infamous “friends of friends” may see your status updates. Pictures that advertise you lounging at the beach or out enjoying  a sporting event also advertise an empty home. Save your social media memories for after your return.

We also recommend that you take steps to make your home look occupied in your absence. Our Post on How to Stop Burglars in Disguise points our that many potential thieves wait until they find a home they know is empty to commit a crime.  If you plan on leaving for a long weekend, consider having your mail held at the post office or asking your neighbor to grab your mail for you. For longer absences, asking neighbors to keep an eye on your home and occasionally park their cars in your driveway can also help.

Two people taking a selfie on a beach.

No matter where your summer travels take you, we recommend waiting until you get home to share your adventures on social media.

You can also use smart home appliances to your advantage. If you monitor your alarm system with an interactive cellular dialer, such as ours powered by Alarm.com, you can add Z-Wave smart devices that communicate with your alarm system. You can use smart lights, for example, to light up different rooms of your home at different times. Smart doorbells can let you know if someone approaches your front door in your absence. Likewise, smart cameras can help you keep an eye on your entire property at all times. For more information on smart home devices, check out our 7 Important Security System Additions for Your Smart Home. Now, let’s discuss using alarm notifications to address some of the most pressing summer-related security threats.

Create Alarm Notifications that Offer Summer Security

Summer — and the school vacation that comes with it — brings its own set of security concerns for families.  Are children home at the right times? If so, do they also have uninvited guests with them? Homeowners can address many of these concerns by creating alarm notifications that address these issues. When we discuss “alarm notifications,” we are describing customizable alerts created by your alarm system and sent through an interactive cellular dialer, such as our Alarm.com dialer mentioned earlier. Your Alarm.com dialer allows you to receive instant alerts from your alarm system. For example, any alarm event can send a text message and email to as many users as our alarm customers desire. This keeps people in the know about their alarm system activity at all times.

We’ve created two posts that discuss summer-related alerts in depth. Our Summer Vacation Security Survival Guide for Parents examines alerts that help parents through this often stressful time of year. In that post, we detail how parents can set up alarm notifications revolving around “expected events.” For example, you may expect your kids to disarm the alarm by 2pm to eat lunch after their morning activities. If this does not happen, you will receive an alert, allowing you to check on the situation. Additionally, we also recommend installing smart cameras to monitor your children. If desired, smart cameras will send your phone notifications with live motion-based video clips. This allows you to see who’s entering your home, and when. Your kids will very quickly learn that you can see any unexpected guests they invite over.

We’ve also created a post on Creating Pool Security for your home. We’d be hard-pressed to think of a greater seasonal security risk than a pool. Many homeowners use wireless security contacts to create alerts when someone approaches their pools. If you have a gate that surrounds your pool, consider equipping it with an alarm sensor. From there, you can set up a custom Alarm.com notification that alerts you every time someone approaches the pool. Using notifications to your advantage can greatly increase your summer security. Now let’s take a look at getting alerts to help you deal with threats from harsh summer weather.

An Interlogix wireless freeze/flood sensor.

This wireless freeze and flood sensor by Interlogix can alert you to both frozen pipes or water in your basement.

Use Your Alarm System to Alert You to Weather-Related Emergencies

Summer provides the perfect weather for heavy rains and storms. Severe weather can create extensive damage to your home, followed by expensive repairs. Our Emergency Preparation Tips for Alarm Customers discusses the importance of catching these events quickly. We offer a couple ways to do this. For starters, we offer environmental sensors and controls that keep you in the know regarding your home’s environmental conditions. Freeze and flood sensors (or the combination freeze and flood sensor pictured) can alert you to extreme conditions.

Additionally, installing a smart thermostat will allow to control and monitor your home’s temperature remotely. If the temperature in your home falls above or below your desired temperature range, you will receive an instant alert. Finally, a rise in thunderstorms also adds to your home’s risk for a fire. Installing monitored smoke detectors creates a level of fire notification not available through standard smoke alarms. Adding this detection ensures that your local fire department will receive a call in the case of a fire alarm event. Any complete summer security plan involves addressing the weather-related home security issues the season brings.

Putting Together a Complete Summer Security Plan

We hope this post has given you some ideas to maximize your summer security this year. If you have any questions about the material in this post, please do not hesitate to contact us. We provide free site surveys for homeowners, regardless of whether or not they already have security measures in place. Perhaps you wish to add season-specific measures to your existing alarm system. Or maybe you have yet to dip your toe into the water of the home security market, and figure now is as good a time as ever. Either way, we will work with you to create a complete summer security plan to provide safety, security, and peace of mind for you and your family all summer– and all year — long.