While safety and security are always high priorities for families, the summer brings a new wave of challenges that must be addressed to keep your home and loved ones safe. Whether at the lake, mowing the lawn, or on vacation, the following 15 tips will provide protection throughout the season.
Stay Safe in the Water
With the summer comes lazy days by the pool or lake, which while enjoyable, bring a variety of safety hazards.
Here are several important pieces of advice to help safeguard your family while enjoying a dip:
1. Use a Fence & Lock
Use a sturdy fence at least four feet high around your entire pool, and secure it with a high-quality lock at all times. This helps protect your family, but also keeps neighbors and strangers out. If a small child wanders onto your property and injures themselves in your pool, you carry some liability. For this reason, insurance companies list the lack of a fence as a hazard, which can raise your rates, or cause insurance companies to drop your account.
2. Cover Your Pool & Jacuzzi When Not in Use
In addition to enclosing your pool and Jacuzzi with a sturdy, locked fence, make sure to keep it closed when not in use, especially when drained of water. The cover acts as an extra precaution in case someone forgets to lock the gate, so no one gets hurt.
3. Watch Children at All Times
Whenever there are children in a lake or your pool, it’s important a competent adult watches them, at all times. It’s also best if the adult has been trained in water safety and is equipped with safety and rescue equipment, such as extra life vests, a flotation device, rope, or a pole. Even if everyone in the water knows how to swim, exhaustion or injury can create dangerous situations requiring immediate assistance.
4. Use Life Vests
In addition to staying on the lookout, it’s important to fit all children with the proper gear, such as life jackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs) whenever in the water. Adults should also use a PFD in lakes, especially when out on a boat or in deep water.
5. Use a Security Camera
While the primary security for your pool should be a fence, a security camera combined with a motion detector can help you keep an eye out for anyone who gets past your first line of defense. Modern systems will alert you whenever a person or large animal moves in the yard, and can activate a camera to record it. If your smart home security system offers remote video feed, you can even see who’s in the yard, and take appropriate action to resolve the situation.
Keep Your Garage Secure
Summertime means yard work, and with it comes an open garage. Unfortunately, this also gives criminals access to any valuables you have stored inside. Luckily, there are several things you can do to keep your garage safe.
Here are five tips you can implement right away:
6. Keep Your Garage Door Closed
The first and simplest method of securing your garage is closing all its doors, including the overhead door and any side entrances. It only takes a few moments for someone to run off the street and take something, so don’t make yourself an easy target.
7. Lock the Garage Door
After shutting your garage door and using a timer, remember to lock the door tracks with a deadbolt whenever on vacation or away from the house for extended periods. Either buy a dedicated kit, such as this Prime-Line model, or do a quick Google image search of “lock garage door rails” to learn how to secure the door with a simple combination lock.
8. Don’t Keep Your Garage Remote in an Obvious Location
Many people leave remote garage door openers on sun visors or in easily visible areas in cars, but this is one of the first places a determined criminal looks. At the very least, keep the remote in a discreet hiding place in the car, or get a small, portable version to carry with you on a keychain.
9. Keep Garage Door Security Codes Safe
If you use a numerical keypad to open and close your garage door, treat it with care. Don’t use a default or simple code easily guessed, and don’t give it out to anyone who you wouldn’t trust with a house key.
10. Play a Radio in the Garage
If you were a burglar approaching a garage that had a radio playing, would you try to break in? Most people wouldn’t. Playing music or talk radio—even on a low-volume loop—is a great way to deter would-be intruders.
Keep Your Home Safe When You’re Away
Weekends at the summer home or extended vacations can leave your property vacant and an easy target for intruders. With a bit of planning and care, however, you can enjoy your vacations worry-free.
Here are five tips to keep your house safe while you’re away:
11. Ask Someone to Check In
One of the best ways to deter intruders is to make your home look like it’s occupied, even when it’s not. Ask a friend to come by and take care of a few simple daily tasks to give the illusion of someone being home. Start by asking them to grab the mail. Depending on how long you’re gone, you could even ask them to mow the lawn, take the garbage cans out to the curb, or open and close shades and curtains. The goal is to make your home look like it’s being lived in.
12. Use a Motion Sensor to Simulate Movement Within the Home
One easy way to deter intruders is to simulate movement inside a house with a motion detector, smart lighting, and a compatible smart home security hub. Simply connect all three components, and use the smart hub app to turn lights on in the house whenever the motion sensor is activated. With the Alarm.com smart home security hub, you can even set lights to stagger activation, so it appears as if someone is walking through the home and flipping switches, as they go.
13. Get a Security Camera With a Remote Feed
If you frequently go on trips, you’ll benefit from purchasing a smart home security camera with a remote feed accessible via your phone. Then, you can see anything that occurs while you’re gone, and check in regularly to ensure everything is okay. It’s even better to connect it to a motion sensor and smart home hub, so you're alerted to any movement within the area.
14. Use Central Monitoring
As aforementioned, 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 monitoring service enlists a professional team to keep an eye out, around the clock. Do-it-yourself kits with phone alerts can also be helpful, but not if you’re swimming or hiking and don’t get service.
15. Lock All Doors & Turn on Your Alarm
The last item on this list may seem like common sense, but can make all the difference. Make sure all doors and windows are locked, so criminals don’t find any easy entrance. Do a lap around your home before leaving, just to double-check none are overlooked. As a bonus, automate the whole process by installing a smart home security hub and open-close sensors, so a simple glance at your phone can give you that all-important peace of mind.
These 15 tips will help ensure your home and family are secure all summer long. To learn more about how smart home security can help, read our guide or call us. We’re happy to answer all your questions and make a security recommendation for your unique situation.