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Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 5:28 PM

What’s on your home security vacation checklist?

Hi folks,


Summer is finally upon us! I don’t know about you, but after the last couple of years, I’m super eager to finally have a proper vacation. But there’s nothing that drives me mad more than forgetting something important, and then worrying about it the whole trip! ESPECIALLY when we’re talking about home security. That’s why it’s important to have a pre-vacation checklist - so I can make sure that my whole house is in order, and I can just relax and enjoy my time off.


The top of my list would be things that I check off last, just before I leave: making sure that every door and window is properly locked (it helps that all of my doors have Entry Sensors, so I’ll get a warning from the Base Station when I arm the system, if any are still open). But well before that, I check that all of my sensors are working, by putting my SimpliSafe system in Test Mode. I make sure to do the full test the week before my trip, so that I have time to replace any batteries, or even call Support for troubleshooting.


Fire safety is important too! My checklist also includes unplugging all the small appliances, as well as making sure my stove and ovens are definitely off (I even take a picture so I have 100% proof that I did it!). SimpliSafe’s Smoke Detectors have a shelf life of about 10 years, and the CO Detector should last about 5.5 years, so I know I’m good for a while. But I still press the Test buttons so I can make sure they’re connected, just like with the sensors.


Finally, there are the advanced precautions. For example, I like to tidy up so that I can come home to a spotless house, but I make sure that it doesn’t look too tidy, so that any strangers looking in will think that someone is still home. It’s the same reason that I have smart lights that turn on and off on their own - mine even has a vacation mode with random patterns. And I know that everyone will have their preference on this, but I make sure that my SimpliSafe Yard Sign is clearly visible from the road; so potential intruders will be discouraged before they even approach.


But I’d like to hear from y’all. Was there anything that I missed? What sort of preparations do you do to get your home in shape before a vacation trip?



697 Messages

2 years ago

(I even take a picture so I have 100% proof that I did it!)

As someone who worries about the oven, the iron, etc. this is a fantastic idea and really helps with my anxiety. I started doing this last year but wish I'd thought of it years ago. I cannot recommend this enough to anyone who worries or has general anxiety.

I like to tidy up so that I can come home to a spotless house

Put fresh, clean sheets on your bed before you leave. Being able to come home after a long day of travel in the car, plane, etc. and go to bed in crisp, fresh sheets is magical. 

If you don't have them yet, consider the temperature monitors that SimpliSafe sells. Getting alerts when the house is too hot or too cold might alert you to a failure with your HVAC and especially in winter, when pipes may freeze as a result, this can be an expensive mistake. This is, imo, essential if you have pets that will be at home when you travel.

Finally I'll add, turn off the water to your house at the street (not in the house!) if you're going to be gone for a bit. There's literally no reason to leave it on while gone that I can think of and it will prevent any leaks in your house while you're gone.

If you don't know how to do this at your house then this is one of those skills every homeowner needs to know. Go search for "water key" at Amazon, Home Depot, etc. and watch some videos on how to do it. It's extremely easy to do and is useful in any number of situations such as if the main water valve inside your house fails.  Two pro-tips for turning the water off/on at the street: 

- Make sure you buy a water key that is at least 18" long. This will let you a) pry open the cover and b) turn off the water without sticking your hands in. Depending on time of year and where you live there will (not may, WILL) be bugs, spiders and/or snakes in there. Some people will say skip the water key and just reach in with pliers but that's a rookie move, imo.

- Turn the water on and off SLOWLY. If you turn the water back on full blast when you return it may damage your water system depending on the age of the house. There's no downside to turning it back on slowly so take your time.



5.9K Messages

2 years ago

Agree with everything in worthing's post (well done btw) just wanted to add that if you have a digital assistant, whether it be the Google or Amazon ecco system (or "Echo" for a bad pun) use them to really make your home look lived in by utilizing routines.  I have nine indoor and outdoor lights on iOT plugs and switches, and garages doors can also be remotely accessed.  I have two feet firmly in the Amazon echo camp and use a "vacation routine" to put all of the lights on a somewhat irregular schedule (three to be exact) that do a good job of changing the light usage on different days and times.  During the day I will also manually open and close the garage doors (using the Chamberlain MyQ app) for short periods for those "drive by" folks in case someone is casing my house. While open, I have an eye on my front outdoor camera checking for unwanted walk ins while usually having an adult beverage.

And of course, I can't let this post go by with out again asking SS for integration with those digital assistants.  Just looking for a "system state flag" which could be one digit, 0 = off, 1 home, 2 away and 3 alarm.  It would take the manual part of this process so, so so much easier!

To all, happy travels.....and be safe while you do it!

PS: Of our 8 neighbors on the cul-de-sac, via our Block Watch phone tree, everyone knows when I'm on vacation and three have PINs. 


56 Messages

2 years ago

1. make sure some of those motion detectors I don't normally use are turned on in my settings

2. turn the water heater down to "vac" or "low" setting

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