Chances are yo may be heading out of town for the Holidays. Whether it is across country or a few days across the state, there is a warm feeling of being with family and friends for the Holidays no matter the distance.
However, you are not alone if traveling leaves you a bit worried about leaving your empty home behind. Unless you can afford a live-in house sitter, your home is alone and vulnerable to break-ins and even disasters that you are now not at home to catch and deal with in time.
I have never been a victim of a burglary, but when I was a teen we had left and realized we forgot something so we turned around. It was divine intervention because that trip back prevented what could have been a full house fire. The coffee pot had been left on and was empty so the glass heated too hot and it cracked and broke. The plastic handle in the break fell onto the hot plate still on and started a small fire with a lot of smoke. Had that been left to smolder it could have been disastrous.
Before you lock your doors and hop in the car, make sure you follow these steps to ensure your home is safe.
TIP #1: DON’T TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT OFF
Before leaving for an extended trip, it’s important to lock in a safe temperature in your central heating system. If you live somewhere with cold winters, don’t turn your thermostat off! To prevent your pipes from freezing, set the temperature lower than usual—ideally between 40 and 55 Fahrenheit. Live in a warmer climate? Leave the thermostat at about 69 Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can completely avoid worry by controlling your thermostat remotely. Ooma detects when your thermostat is on “Away” mode and will automatically forward any home calls to your mobile device.
TIP #2: SHUT OFF THE GAS AND UNPLUG ALL APPLIANCES
Always turn off gas-powered devices such as stoves, ovens, and fireplaces, and unplug all appliances. This can prevent any accidental fires and potentially hazardous carbon monoxide leaks into your home, as well as save energy. This is especially important if you have pets at home who can’t defend themselves against unforeseen hazards. For an added layer of protection, be in the know—Ooma can warn you via text and direct you to call 911 when your Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector has been triggered.
TIP #3: DON’T KEEP YOUR TRAVEL A SECRET
When leaving home for several days, tell someone you trust where you’ll be in case of emergency, such as a fire, burglary, or carbon monoxide leak. Friends staying in town or a thoughtful neighbor could be options. They can keep an eye out for suspicious activity and notify you of any out-of-the-ordinary occurrences. Ooma allows you to be notified immediately when 911 is dialed and you can call them or call police to investigate.
TIP #4: LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR YOUR HOME
Thanks to technology, our homes are getting smarter and smarter. Did you know there are countless apps that can connect to systems in our homes—from central temperature to security systems, light bulbs to the Amazon Echo? The Ooma Telo seamlessly interacts with your favorite smart home products and services to make your home safer and more convenient than ever before. Whether it be increased levels of carbon monoxide or a home break-in, Ooma can be the first to alert you of any danger.
You can learn more about Ooma’s home monitoring system and buy an Ooma Telo at http://www.ooma.com.
Has an emergency ever happened at your home while you were away? Tell me about it in the comments!