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Safety & security

Burglars don’t take vacations! How to protect your home before your next trip

The one place you should always feel safe is your home. Securing your doors is not enough, however. What about your windows, cabinets, closets and safes? Security can extend beyond burglaries to natural disasters.

A comprehensive security system can cover all the bases, but what exactly do you need for your home? Tap or click here for a solution that’s affordable and easy to set up.

Your home is at most risk when you’re away. Thieves are more likely to target an empty house. If you’re itching to travel and who isn’t these days, we can help you lower your risk of burglary while you’re out there.

The first rule of vacation is don’t talk about vacation

We get it. You’re excited to broaden your horizons after being cooped up during the pandemic. You’re vaccinated, and your transportation and flights are booked. Check out our five smart travel tips before you go and enjoy your trip!

Don’t let your excitement get the best of you. You can safely tell trusted friends and family about your plans but think twice before broadcasting your trip on social media. You don’t need that information getting to the wrong people. You can post all you want when you return.

Here are some more ways to have peace of mind when you’re traveling.

1. Make it look like someone is home

Turn thieves away before they even approach your house by making it look like no one ever left. Lights set to automatic timers are old news and simply not enough anymore. Thanks to smart home technology and voice assistants, you can do more.

If you have an Amazon Echo or Google Nest, you can set up custom routines to turn your lights on and off and power on your TV, sound systems, and even bark like a guard dog. Tap or click here for five smart routines for Alexa.

To set up a routine with Amazon Echo, start by opening the Alexa app and tapping the hamburger navigation button in the bottom-right corner. Tap Routines, then the plus icon to open the New Routine tab. Tap When this happens and choose what triggers the routine. Then tap Add action to put in the result.

For Google Nest, open the Google Home app and tap Routines and choose the routine you want to edit then select your desired actions. You can tap Home & Away Routines then Away to adjust devices and settings for when you’re not home.

2. Enable Alexa Guard

Think of Alexa Guard as a friend who watches the house when you’re not home. Alexa can detect sounds such as glass breaking and give you a heads up. You can get a short sound clip of the sound so you can decide what to do next. Guard can also control your smart lighting and electronics so potential burglars can think you’re Netflix and chilling when you’re not even there.

To enable Guard, open the Alexa app and tap the Menu hamburger icon, then Settings. Scroll down and tap the Guard option, then the gear icon. Select your preferences and Guard is ready to do its job.

3. Packages

Packages left on the front porch attract package thieves and let everyone know that someone isn’t home. Before you go, check if anything is coming in the mail. If so, use services to keep them off your doorstep.

With Amazon Key, your packages are placed in the garage. You are kept informed of the package’s progress until it is delivered. You can link a compatible camera to watch the delivery being made in real-time. You’ll need a myQ Smart Garage hub to use this service.

You can divert packages entirely away from your home to a nearby Amazon Locker. Tap or click here to find the one closest to you.

4. DIY security cameras

While security systems are becoming more affordable, they are still not exactly cheap. One foundation of any system is a camera. A motion-activated security camera not only catches criminal activity but can also help you watch over your pets when you’re not home. All you need is a phone, tablet, or laptop/computer with a webcam.

Go to Critter.Camera and open the app. Enable permissions on your device and point it where you want to focus. Choose a stable surface and avoid any direct lighting that can mess with the picture. Press Start to calibrate the program, ensuring there is no movement during this process. Once this is complete, your device will snap images of any movement.

5. SimpliSafe

A complete home security system usually requires a significant investment and a team of technicians to come by your home, right? Wrong. You can do all the work yourself without breaking the bank, thanks to our sponsor, SimpliSafe.

You want complete coverage, including your security cameras, doorbell cameras, motion sensors, alarms and more. SimpliSafe’s security experts check in on you when an alarm goes off. They can call first responders for criminal activity, fire, floods and anything else that requires a call.

Go to to get started and get a $99 HD security camera for free.

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