It’s that time of the year when many of us are planning trips away from our homes. As we head out on our fun adventures, or to visit family, our homes will be left all alone. Before you leave for your trip, use this handy checklist of things to do to keep your home safe while you’re away. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive presented by Centrica Connected Home. The opinions and text are all mine.
Hold Mail and Deliveries
- It’s easy to have your mail held, and it can make a big difference towards keeping your home from screaming, “I’m empty”. In addition to mail, be sure to arrange for any other deliveries to be held.
Notify Banks / Credit Cards
- Some banks have helpful fraud settings that will lock your account if you start making purchases that don’t fit your standard pattern. Most notably this applies if you’re traveling internationally, notify your bank or credit card if you plan on spending internationally.
Clear Garbage & Equipment Outdoors
- The exterior of your home should looked well cared for and maintained. You also don’t want to have any ladders or equipment laying around that might help a thief get into your home while you’re away.
Rake Leaves / Mow Grass
- Another part of helping your home look lived in is to make sure you’ve recently cleaned up leaves and mowed the grass. If it’s winter, be sure to shovel the pathways.
Program Exterior Lighting
- It’s easy to set your exterior lights to on and leave them on while you’re away. However if you want to make your home look more lived in, I recommend installing a timer switch on your patio lights.
Notify Neighbor or Friend of Departure
- Hopefully you have a close friend or neighbor you can share your travel plans with. You can ask them to drive by your house occasionally to make sure nothing looks out of place. If it’s snowed they can also add some footprints to your door to help keep it looking lived in.
Program Interior Lights on Timers
- Setting your interiors lights on timers can be a great way of helping it look as if people are home. We have Hive smart products in our house, which includes smart lights. Before leaving I can set a schedule for the lights to turn on and off. An even better new feature they’ve added is the Mimic mode in the Hive app. On vacation, Mimic mode will slightly vary the times your Hive Active Lights turn on and off automatically. This means your lights will have a different pattern each night, and with your phone you can turn Mimic mode on from your phone anywhere in the world. All you need for Mimic mode is a Hive Hub and a Hive Active Light. Or if you have lots of Hive Active lights, you can even choose which ones are included. So you can keep your home looking lived in, while you are off living life.
- Another great feature of the Hive Active Lights is that you can trigger the lights to come on (or off) when a Hive Window or Door sensor is triggered. So if a window or door is opened while you’re away, a light can switch on, which might make a burglar think twice about continuing with their plans.
- Check out all the great home automation options at hivehome.com. Get 10% off with my special code: HIVEKIMBERLY10.
Notify Security System of Contact Info
- If you have a security system in place on your home, be sure to notify them of any vacation plans. You should also notify them of how they can reach you in case of an alarm.
Install Door Sensors &/or Cameras
- For true peace of mind we love our security cameras. We have one set that looks outside our home and another that shows us the interior. While traveling we’re able to see if things look normal.
Check & Lock Windows & Doors
- Be sure to do a walk-through of all the rooms and double check windows and doors. We’ve occasionally found a window that was opened and not latched back to locking.
- If you don’t have any animals at home that you’re leaving, consider programing your thermostat for a lower/higher temp to save on some electricity. The Hive thermostat is a great way to manage your thermostat while you’re away. Plus, you can use the Hive app to turn your thermostat on when you’re on your way home so that it’s comfortable when you get home.
- Don’t miss doing this or else you risk coming home to a stinky house!
Throw Out Perishable Foods
- Another step that can help prevent a stinky house. You also don’t want to come home to a fruit fly issue if you forgot to get rid of fresh fruit.
- Be sure to allow yourself enough time to wash your dishes before you leave. You don’t want smelly dishes or stuck on food.
Unplug Unnecessary Appliances
- Some appliances can actually use a bit of electricity even when they’re not being used. It’s also a good idea to unplug unnecessary appliances in case of any storms or power surges.
Lower Water Heater Temperature
- Another energy saving idea, if you have your water heater set for hot showers, turning it down a bit might save some energy while you’re gone.
Winterize Pipes (if needed)
- If you live in a freezing weather location, be sure to do what’s needed to winterize pipes while you’re gone. You don’t want to come home and find a busted pipe.
A bonus idea I’ve heard before is to place a frozen cup of water (cup of ice) in the freezer and place a penny on top of the ice. If you come home and the penny is still on top of the ice then all is good. If it’s sunk, you lost electricity at some point and probably need to throw out your food.
Hope these ideas will help you get your home ready for vacation. It’s always nice to feel a bit more at peace about your home safety while you’re away!
Don’t forget to get your own Hive Active Lights at hivehome.com. Get 10% off with my special code: HIVEKIMBERLY10.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hive. The opinions and text are all mine.