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15 Home Security Tips For Summer

Home Security Tips Jun 22, 2023 2:10:14 PM General Security 9 min read

Summer home backyard with pool and basketball hoop

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in May 2021 and has been revised to reflect industry updates.

When thinking about summertime, you may automatically conjure thoughts of family vacations, beaches, swimming pools, picnics, or strolls on the boardwalk. Security measures won’t likely be top of mind, but it's also important to consider that the change in season can bring new threats and risks, such as increased rates of household property crimes.

According to a special report from the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), researchers analyzing 17 years of data found that household property victimization rates increased in the summer with an 11 percent average difference than the lowest winter seasonal rates.

“In all of the years except 1995, rates of household property victimization appeared highest in summer and lowest in either winter or spring," the report states.

With increased rates of such crimes in the hotter months, it's crucial to secure your family and home during the summer!

Check out these 15 summer security tips and best practices from General Security, and how such methods can be supported by smart home technologies.

1. Keep Windows & Doors Locked & Closed

As the warmer weather rolls in, you’re more likely to open windows or leave doors ajar emitting a breeze through the screen door. In the summer months, it’s easy to forget about these, even while packing for a vacation or day trip.

Even if you forget to double check your doors and windows, General Security's Smart Home Systems will notify if these are left open or ajar—whether the alarm is set or not. This technology also enables users to control various interior and exterior security settings from most mobile device apps.

Should you forget to adjust your HVAC system, thermostats can be remotely pre-set to turn up or down at specific times. Temperature sensors also detect extreme outdoor weather fluctuations. Alarm.com-branded thermostats offer Energy Star rebates through most utility companies. It's best to check with your local provider for more information. 

For homes that utilize window air-conditioning units, consider attaching tilt or contact sensors to windows. These sensors can be connected to alarm systems for real-time alerts should a separation or "tilt" occur as the window slides up during an attempted break-in.


Add contact sensors to windows and doors, and don’t forget about tilt sensors when installing window air conditioning units.

2. Keep Valuables Out of Plain Sight

Keeping doors and windows open can increase chances of outsiders spotting valuables inside your home. Ensure expensive items such as computers, tablets, phones or jewelry are out of plain sight or stored in safes or other secure locations.

Also be mindful of your vehicles as potential targets. Any valuables should be hidden from view or brought into your home. It’s important you don’t leave a garage door opener inside your car. Especially if you have an attached garage, these can be an easy target invitation for thieves to gain easy access to your home.


Add smart garage door openers to schedule open/close times directly from your mobile device.

3. Install a Smart Home Security System

As mentioned, General Security Smart Home Systems provide real-time control and monitoring from any mobile device. Adequate alarm coverage on your home and garage doors and windows is paramount to deter potential thieves and break-ins. Should any be left open or unlocked while out, you can remotely control them from your mobile device.

If you don’t require a full security system, you can still purchase and customize smart home devices separately based on your needs.


Receive real time-notifications and customize security settings from the convenience of any smart device.

In all of the years except 1995, rates of household property victimization appeared highest in summer and lowest in either winter or spring.

4. Purchase Indoor & Outdoor Security Cameras

Consider installing indoor or outdoor cameras to deter potential intruders while you're away. This is especially important since thefts historically increase during warmer months.

Adding wired or wireless doorbell cameras can provide additional safeguards, such as wide-angle viewing, night vision, motion detection, and video surveillance. These also enable you to remotely answer and unlock doors for a house sitter, delivery person, or other services personnel.

Alarm.com Perimeter Guard™ is another protective option when used with compatible security cameras. Should a trespasser or so-called “porch pirates” attempt to gain access, they’ll be met with loud whistles, beeps, and red, flashing LED lights.


Utilize your mobile device app for remote viewing of your home and property.

To learn more, check out our blog:
Home Security: How to Install Outdoor Security Cameras.”


5. Add Outdoor Motion-Activated Lights

Adding motion-activated lights around the perimeter of your property can be the first line of defense against burglars. These security measures can thwart potential intruders and alert you if someone is moving around outside.

Utilizing security cameras with video analytics is an added protective layer. This smart technology includes user-designated virtual tripwires and activity zones to control outdoor lighting or play music if a specific threshold is crossed by trespassers.


Add virtual tripwires with real-time alerts should intruders breach designated security thresholds.

6. Don’t Promote Your Vacation on Social Media

As tempting as it may be to post a photo of you lying on the sand or sipping a cocktail by the pool, wait until you return from your travels to share these highlights online. Keep in mind that your social media followers might include people you don't actually know. If your profile is public, anyone can gain a full view of travel updates you’ve posted. Sharing your location could potentially alert thieves to your absence and your home's vulnerability.

Since an empty home provides the perfect opportunity for a break-in, it’s best to keep home security in mind before hitting the post button on a vacation status update.


Refrain from checking-in or tagging locations of hotels or airports, and switch off phone and social media GPS tracking location features.

7. Make it Appear as Though You’re Home

If you have a smart security system, you can control home protection from anywhere in the world. Consider smart outlets and LED bulbs to schedule when lights or other electronics turn on and shut down each day. You can also set an app rule to activate smart bulbs should your camera detect outdoor motion.

If you’re going to be away for a prolonged period, have your landscaping regularly serviced and watered. You can also remotely manage outdoor sprinkler system watering schedules to appear as though you’re home and actively caring for the property.


Through geofencing, you can create a smart scene to remotely activate several functions such as lights, televisions, and sound systems at certain times.

As tempting as it may be to post a photo of you lying on the sand or sipping a cocktail by the pool, wait until you return from your travels to share these highlights online.

8. Ask a Neighbor for Help

Consider enlisting a friendly neighbor to help with keeping up appearances while you’re away. If they agree to look after the house, ask them to grab your mail each day, take in garbage cans and recycle bins, and park their car in your driveway. Since it looks as though someone is home, potential thieves are more likely to stay away.


Make sure the person responsible for keeping watch on your house is reliable and can be trusted.

9. Find a Reputable House Sitter

If you can’t find a neighbor to mind your home, try asking a friend or relative to stay while you’re out of town. This can put your mind at ease, knowing your home isn’t left unattended, making it appear to unsuspecting thieves as though someone is home.


Be sure to inform neighbors someone is staying at your home, so they don’t think there’s an intruder on your property.

10. Be Conscious of Spare Keys

It may seem like a good idea to keep a spare key under an object in the front or back of your home to prevent lockouts. However, the chances of such incidents are low, while the risk that someone may use your spare keys to break in is relatively higher. If you insist on spare keys, keep them in your wallet or purse, but avoid attaching your address to them. While on vacation, you may give a key to your neighbor, friend or relative, so they can check in on pets or other matters. Remember to set a reminder to retrieve spare keys once you’ve arrived home.


Add smart door locks with mobile alerts to remove worries of lost or stolen keys and inform you if a door is unlocked, ajar, or opened by an unauthorized user.

11. Implement 24/7 Central Station Alarm Monitoring

One of the best ways to keep your home safe is to have someone watch it when you’re away. Investing in a 24/7 Central Station Monitoring service provides even higher peace of mind knowing a professional team is your around-the-clock secret guardian. This system will immediately alert first responders and local authorities in the event of an emergency and can be the difference between further damages and losses.


Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can also be directly connected to law enforcement via your home's Central Station Monitoring System.

12. Keep All Window Coverings Closed & Drawn

Even though you might be tempted to leave curtains or blinds slightly open for extra sunlight, it’s safer to keep these closed when you’re not home. Ensure all windows and doors are properly covered—even with just sheer curtains, it’s still easier for someone to peek in or see through exposed areas.


Ensure window coverings provide highest coverage levels so outsiders and potential thieves can’t see directly into your home.

13. Secure Your Pool & Other Outdoor Areas

Contact sensors can be used within the home to alert if a door or window is breached, sending a real-time alert to your security system. It’s equally crucial to have these installed on outdoor gates, pool decks, and other areas prone to security and safety issues. Since these will be placed outside, opt for tamper-resistant models protecting against harsh weather, vandalism, and theft.


Adding smart stove and grill guards with real-time monitoring and automatic shutoff removes the possibility of accidents leading to possible fires, gas leaks, and propane loss.

Investing in a 24/7 Central Station Monitoring service provides even higher peace of mind knowing a professional team is your around-the-clock secret guardian.

14. Lock, Track & Monitor Your Vehicle(s)

Locking your vehicles is just one step of the safety process. If you’re traveling with multiple family members requiring more than one vehicle, it's also important to monitor their safety and well-being while on the road through a vehicle GPS tracking device.


When adding a tracking device such as Connected Car, you’ll receive real-time mobile alerts regarding vehicle location and diagnostics, speeding, and other important safety information.

15. Don’t Forget About Garages & Outdoor Sheds

The simplest method of securing your garage and shed is closing all its doors and any side entrances. However, this can easily be overlooked with the rush of trying to get out on time. Technologies such as smart garage door openers can help with real-time security notifications. This tech enables you to remotely open and close your door from your mobile device and receive alerts if contact and tilt sensors are breached.


As previously mentioned, smart locks with a uniquely personalized security code can also be used to safeguard outdoor sheds.

Additional Summer Security Advice & Recommendations

These tips will help ensure your family and home are secure this summer. If you still have questions, it’s best to engage with a reputable service provider such as General Security for customized smart home security packages to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Contact General Security for additional information and accompanying equipment for added safety and security throughout the summer months. Request a free quote from us today!