5 Smart Ways to Protect Your Home During the Holidays
With the holidays quickly approaching you’ve probably got turkey, toys, and trees on the brain but the thought of prepping your home for your week away hasn’t even hit you. For criminals, the idea of empty homes is top of mind during the holidays—expensive gifts, easy access to electronics, jewelry and more, and uninterrupted access to whichever house looks unoccupied.
Whether you believe it or not, there are some real life Grinches out there, more than happy to claim your carefully chosen gifts for themselves. But that’s not all—unpredictable weather and cold temperatures bring their own set of problems—like power outages, damaged exteriors and fires. But, it’s easy to have a happy and healthy holiday season by following a few simple home protection pointers. Here’s to a smart, safe and stress-free holiday!
The smartest way to protect your home and belongings from anywhere in the world? Add smart home appliances like security cameras, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and more. Plenty of smart home monitoring systems on the market are motion activated and will send alerts and video clips straight to your smartphone if a presence is detected. Your complete peace of mind will make the small investment more than worth it.
Don’t Post Your Plans Online
You never know who’s reading what you’ve posted on your social channels so gushing about your upcoming mid-winter getaway could do a whole lot more than make your friends jealous—it could tip off potential burglars that you’ll be away and how long you’ll be gone for. In fact, 65 percent of all burglars know their victim! Watch what you post and delete any prior Facebook or event invites online that might display your phone number or address.
Fake a Human Presence
No, we’re not suggesting you set up mannequins on strings Home Alone-style, but there are simple ways of tricking potential burglars into thinking someone is home—like timed lights. By preprograming your lights to turn off and on at certain times (or connecting them to your smartphone, allowing you to switch them with a simple swipe) you’re able to make it appear like you’re snuggled into your Philly home, even though you’re at a family party in Portland.
Download PECO’s Mobile App
PECO’s Mobile App allows customers to access their account information and check in or report power outages and restoration progress anywhere, at any time. You’re also able to set your preferences for how you’d like PECO to communicate outages and other information to you (text, phone call, email) and you can handle a variety of other services like billing and unusual usage alerts all in-app.
Prioritize Exterior Protection Too
A dead giveaway that you’re not home? An obviously decked-out home with its lights and inflatables turned off during peak holiday time. If you’ve strung up lights or mounted electronic inflatables, those should be on timers as well. Other items to consider? Stop your mail and newspapers for the week or ask a neighbor to collect them, don’t leave out any sets of spare keys (yes, your set under the gnome is obvious) and ensure that branches aren’t touching your home, and furniture/tools are safely stowed away to avoid potential damage during a storm.
Take steps toward a worry-free holiday this year by downloading the PECO Mobile App.This is a paid partnership between PECO and Philadelphia Magazine's City/Studio