Recently, my sister-in-law and her family went on vacation. They were only gone for a week but, during that time, their house got broken into. While most things were replaceable, the computers and external backup drives with all of their precious digital photos and videos from over the years were not. There’s also a sense of anxiety to double and triple check all locks and windows when they leave the house now.
Caution Regarding Summer Travel
According to a recent survey by Piper, 100% of the over 1000 participants plan on vacationing this summer. But, 45% of those surveys admit to not even checking in on their home during that time. Many ask their neighbors to watch their homes but that didn’t help my sister-in-law in their townhome-type of place (attached buildings common in the Netherlands). Yikes! No wonder empty homes during the summer are ripe for the picking (for burglars).
Summer Travel Tips
When Frans and I leave for vacation, especially if it is an extended one to visit family overseas, we try to take as many precautions as possible to avoid any mishaps while gone. It helps that we live in a secured building but you never know when your home could be a target. Here are some tips we try to follow when we plan to be away for a few days or weeks.
- Do not announce when you are leaving on social media.
- Unplug as many items using electricity as possible.
- Put lights on timers or use outlets that can be controlled remotely by mobile apps.
- Give house keys to a local friend or family member.
- Put mail on vacation hold.
- Inform leasing office, community manager, or local police office of your absence so they can keep an extra close watch.
- Set up webcam(s) that you can access via mobile device.
- Lock all doors and windows and close blinds and curtains.
- Keep an extra backup of your digital photos and videos with you, in the cloud, or both.
- Activate house alarm if you have one installed.
We set up a new security all-in-one system from Piper before we left on vacation. This wide-screen web cam gives a 180 degree view of your home, split into four sections if you prefer. Piper can be set up to send out warning texts to up to ten people at the same time, sound an alarm, has a microphone and speaker for two-way audio, and works seamlessly with various accessories to make your house a smart home.
The review of Piper will be up later this month. In the meantime, you can learn more about the products below.