Preparing for Vacation: Technology

Believe it or not, summer vacation season is once again upon us — and with the warmer weather comes summer vacation plans. Before you leave town, be sure protect your home and valuables using the technology solutions featured in part one of our three part series on preparing your home for your vacation.

If you’ve booked your flights, reserved accommodations, and scouted out the local restaurant/museum/theater scene, you probably think you’re ready to hit the road.

But you’d be wrong. According to crime statistics, most communities experience a 10 to 18 percent increase in home burglaries during the months of June, July and August. Although home burglaries often seem random, burglars seek out unoccupied homes with easy access, lots of cover, and a good escape route.

Before you leave town, be sure protect your home and valuables using the technology solutions featured in part one of our three part series on preparing your home for your vacation.

Lights

Motion Sensor lights are your first line of defense against crime since they will startle and discourage potential thieves. Be sure to install your motion lighting high enough so that the bulbs can’t be unscrewed by a possible intruder.

Put interior lights on timers in two or three rooms so the lights go on and off at various times to simulate occupancy. Note that timers can also be used to turn on a radio or television to create the impression that someone is home.

Home Alarms

Burglars will often bypass properties with visible alarm signs because they increase the fear of being caught and arrested by the police. Systems are more effective when armed with an audible horn or bell. Be sure that your alarm will reset after a few minutes to avoid irritating your neighbors.

If you can’t afford a home alarm system, there are many inexpensive home security technologies on the market today including

Witness

$39.00, http://www.orbicule.com/witness Witness turns your Macs into a basic video alarm system using your computers’ iSight cameras as motion sensors. If motion is detected, Witness sends mugshots and video to your iPhone or iPad. Witness can even use the location of your iOS device to automatically arm your alarm when leaving your house and to disarm it upon your return. And if you have pets running around the house, you can restrict the sensors to detect only to human faces.

Belkin WeMo

$49+, http://www.belkin.com/us/wemo WeMo is a family of simple and customizable products that allow you to control your home electronics from anywhere using your smart phone, wi-fi, and mobile internet. You can even use WeMo Motion to have a radio or lamp turn of when someone enters the room.

DropCam

$149, https://www.dropcam.com Watch over your home or from your iPhone or iPad with this high-definition Wi-Fi video camera that offers remote viewing access and optional cloud DVR storage. Receive alerts via email or smartphone. View live footage on your mobile device and talk directly to people and pets.

Stay tuned for our next post to learn more about leaving your home with peace of mind.

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