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5 Ways to Keep Your Home Safe While You’re Away

SmartCam, Smart Leak Sensor Kit, Smart Motion Kit, Hedge App, 24/7 Issue Escalations, Water Damage Prevention, Home Protection & Security, Home Tips

Published: March 10, 2022

How to Keep Your Home Safe When You're Not There

Planning a long-awaited trip this spring? Even if it's just for the day or a quick weekend away, you can take precautions to secure your home before you leave. In fact, there are a number of ways to protect your home_any time_ you're away — whether you're at work, out running errands, or just walking the dog. Keep in mind the following tips for greater peace of mind.

#1: Keep an eye on your home with a smart security camera

Want to check in on your home, kids, or pets while you're away? Smart home security cameras, like the SmartCam from Hedge, make it easy to stay connected whether you're down the street, across town, or even in a different country.

If the SmartCam detects motion or noise when your home is armed, it will alert you via a phone notification; then, you can quickly use the Hedge App to view the SmartCam's video feed. That way, you'll know exactly what's going on in your home when you're not there. This provides peace of mind whether you're relaxing on vacation or wrapping up at work. (Do your kids get home from school before you do? You'll be able to know when they've arrived safe and sound.)

You can even use the SmartCam to keep an eye on your pets (and tell them to get off the couch using the camera's two-way audio feature!).

#2: Resist the urge to broadcast on social media that you're not at home

Many of us enjoy sharing our upcoming travel plans or even day-to-day activities with friends and family on social media. But in the wrong hands, information detailing when and for how long you'll be away from home can be risky.

It's best to avoid sharing travel plans on social media altogether. Also, be careful about posting on social media while you're on vacation. It might be tempting to capture a beautiful moment and share it on social media then and there, but it's best to wait until you're home from your trip. (Better safe than sorry!)

Not traveling in the upcoming months? Even if you're away for the day or evening, be cognizant of how much you share regarding your whereabouts. Making it abundantly clear that you're not at home can open the door (pun intended) to unwanted attention.

#3: Invest in a home protection system that alerts you to serious problems, like water leaks

What happens when an issue arises at home when you're not there? If left unattended, especially for multiple days, a small problem can turn serious.

Let's take a look at an (unfortunately) common issue: home water damage. If caught early enough, leaky pipes or appliances (your refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, for example) are fairly easy to deal with, and might not cause significant damage. But if left unattended — for an entire day while you're at work, or a week while you're out of town — a small leak can have big repercussions.

Some home protection systems — Hedge included — come with Leak Sensors that alert you to small amounts of water accumulation via an app notification. Hedge takes things a step further with 24/7 issue escalations.

When Hedge devices detect certain "high-priority" events (like water accumulation), the escalation pipeline activates: notifications, texts, and calls alert you and other account users, followed by your emergency contact. These issue escalations are especially important when you're not in a position to receive phone alerts, for example if you don't have cell service, or if your phone has died or is on airplane mode.

Another helpful feature of the Leak Sensors from Hedge? Temperature and humidity monitoring. If either leaves your set "acceptable" range, you'll receive an app notification. This can help you prevent issues like mold (too-high humidity), freezing pipes (too-low temperature), or a sky-high energy bill (too-high temperature when you're not home). It can also keep your home more comfortable for you and your family.

#4: Secure key areas of your home to make things difficult for would-be burglars

It's a no-brainer to lock all doors and windows before you leave your home for the day. But what about your garage? Even if there's no door leading from your garage to your home, an open or unlocked garage door can still invite unwanted attention, not to mention put any items in your garage at risk of being stolen.

Going out of town for longer than a day or so? If you have an automatic garage door, consider disconnecting the electronic opener and using a manual latch to lock the door instead. While convenient, automatic garage doors can be easy for a skilled burglar to open. By padlocking your garage door, you ensure nobody without a key will be able to enter.

A few additional tips: for extra protection, secure other openings, like pet doors or mail slots. Also, remove your spare key from under the doormat (or in the flowerpot). Even if you think it's well-hidden, an experienced criminal will likely be able to find it. Instead, leave your spare key with a trusted neighbor for safekeeping.

#5: Don't be afraid to ask for help

Whether you're away from home for a few days or a few weeks, asking a trusted neighbor to keep an eye out can ease your mind, allowing you to fully enjoy your time away. Ask your neighbor to let you or the authorities know if they see anything suspicious around your home, and — if you feel comfortable — leave them your spare key for emergencies.

If you'll be away from home for multiple days, you can also ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to help you out by making it look like someone is at home. Taking in the mail, making sure your grass is cut, and even parking a car in your empty driveway can make it seem as if your house is occupied.

If you have Hedge, you can take things a step further by listing someone you trust as your Hedge emergency contact. Then, in the event that a serious home issue occurs and you're unable to receive alert notifications, your emergency contact will be notified and able to step in.

It's normal to be concerned about your home when you're not there — especially following a time when we've become more used to staying home. But follow these tips and you'll feel more at ease whether you're away for the day, for the week, or even longer.

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