Home Safety Tips for the Savvy Traveler, Advice from a Pro
The top item that should be on your trip’s to-do list may surprise you
While spontaneously taking a vacation may give you some great last-minute travel deals, research says that planning and anticipating your trip can actually make you happier than taking it. That’s right: late nights researching vacation activities, scrolling on social media for dining options and even shopping for a new wardrobe – are all contributing to that anticipatory happiness.
Looking to extend that blissful, peace of mind? One thing that should be on that trip to-do list is considering the security of your home while you’re away.
"Travel is meant to allow you to escape from the routine of your everyday life, and our customers work with us so that we can take care of their home when they are away," said Marvin Smith, President of Orlando Emergency Signal (OES). “They know whole-home security is more than just a video doorbell. For example, if you are on a flight traveling to your vacation and your doorbell identifies a risk - what happens? How are you going to call the police from 40,000 feet?”
In fact, it was during a vacation 15 years ago that Smith decided to start a professional home security business in his home state of Florida. His passion for serving his clients is what drives his team each and every day: to treat everyone like family and offer reasonable prices for exceptional products and services.
Since spring break and holiday breaks are always busy for Smith and his team in the Sunshine State, he warns that people shouldn't take their security for granted.
Orlando Emergency Signal
"Our customers feel the impact of additional tourists in a few different ways: many of our seasonal residents return for extended periods of time and expect their home to be as they left it, and the increase of visitors means locals need to be more aware of their property and surroundings," Smith said.
What Burglars Look For
Burglars look for three things: low risk, ease of entry and opportunity.
For example, Smith says if they look through your back sliding door and see an iPad on your dining room table, they then look for the easiest way to gain entry. If the door is unlocked, it’s a quick grab-and-go by the burglar. If the door is locked, they look for something close to use to break the glass – like a flowerpot, a patio chair or even landscaping pavers.
Smith advises these tips:
- Never leave valuable items in the line of sight from outside the home.
- Always lock doors and windows and always close curtains or blinds.
- Never leave a spare key under a doormat or in a planter.
- Ensure your yard and landscaping are maintained to help make the home look lived in.
- Forward your mail for longer trips – or ask a neighbor to bring it in.
- Arm your security system and alert your Central Monitoring Station of any travel plans because in the event of an actual alarm, they can provide responding authorities with this information.
What To Consider When Buying a Security System
Jerry Todtenhagen, Vice President, Client Relations at OES showcases Resideo’s Indoor MotionViewer.
Security and home automation are essential for owners who want to stay connected to their investments when traveling. Which is why Smith and his team rely on Resideo's ProSeries Security and Smart Home Platform to help protect their customers.
For the savvy traveler that wants to enhance home security when they are away, Smith suggests asking yourself these five questions, which can help you select the security system that is right for you.
- Does the system’s app allow for easy camera viewing or camera-triggered alerts? Not all apps and cameras are created equal. "Clients often tell us they love the ability to look in on the home via cameras using Resideo's Total Connect App. Their cameras are positioned in a way that they can see status of their lawn care, the water level of their pool and any mail accumulating outside their front door," Smith said.
- Do you want your security system to help save energy? Home automation and energy consumption are two key trends emerging in the home security space as the smart home becomes more mainstream. Homeowners want a system that offers the ability to control lighting to ensure the home looks occupied and to also time interior and exterior lights to save energy. "Connected thermostats are another way our clients keep an eye on their homes while managing their energy consumption," Smith said. A Honeywell Home smart thermostat with Resideo Energy Care can learn how your home reacts to changes in weather, and can automatically adjust your temperature to optimize comfort – whether you're home or away.
- Do you want an awareness system or one that takes action for you? In an emergency, seconds make a difference. With professional monitoring, dispatchers are trained to manage the alarm process: from receiving the signal, verification of the alarm and when needed, dispatching the authorities. With the new ProSeries Indoor MotionViewer, homeowners can view a video clip to check on an alarm and help prevent false dispatches. "The MotionViewers are perfect for those who travel because they provide valuable images and really make a difference in false dispatch reduction," said Smith.
- Does the security system integrate with my existing smart solutions? For Smith, the ProSeries Platform is a game changer because of its ability to connect to other Z-wave solutions – like locks, lights and garage doors. The touchscreen even has Amazon Alexa voice assistance built in. Smith said, "We recently received a new installation from a client who mentioned we secure three other homes on their street, and she said, 'I want one of those talking touchscreens!'"
- What is the safety of your home and family worth? Today, some of Smith's new clients contact him after using self-installed and self-monitored 'awareness systems,' which led them to a false sense of security. He explains, “We always share the benefits of professional monitoring with our clients. For example, if you are on a flight traveling to your vacation and your DIY system is triggered, what happens? How are you going to call the police from 40,000 feet? Do you even know what number you would call once you leave home?”
Smith said, "We often hear our clients say they want a local company, and that they don’t want to be just another account number.” Smith and his team take these comments seriously and are proud when new clients say they called Orlando Emergency Signal because they service a family member’s home.