Protect Your Apartment When You’re Away With These Smart Tools
Thanksgiving is approaching, Christmas is on the horizon, and the New Year beckons—which mean you’ve probably got lots of travel plans coming up. Given the excitement of this time of year (Pumpkin pie! Presents! Ugly sweaters!), it’s easy to get caught up without giving a second thought to your pad’s security.
Luckily, we’ve got some basic tips and tricks that’ll help protect your apartment when you’re on vacation. From smartphone-linked security systems to neighborly assistance, here’s how to ensure your place remains safe and sound in your absence.
(Smart) Home Security
Don’t worry: Home security tech has evolved significantly since the days of the Meet the Parents teddy bear camera. These days, it’s simpler than ever to install a smart system that keeps tabs on the goings-on around your apartment, tracks data ranging from temperature to carbon monoxide levels, and even sends updates straight to your phone.
Canary bills itself as “a complete security system in a single device,” and it’s true that this little guy packs a punch. A camera, siren, and air monitor, Canary can be programmed to detect wayward movements and send high-def video straight to your phone. Another good pair of digital eyes is August’s Doorbell Cam Pro, which lets you remotely monitor, video record—and even speak to—anyone who happens to knock on your door. Nest’s suite of secure devices—including the Nest Detect motion sensor, Nest Hello video doorbell, and Nest Cam IQ outdoor security camera—also provides a full range of savvy options.
But your apartment might not be the only thing to protect. Got a shed or storage space where you’re storing your bike? Master Lock’s Bluetooth Padlocks provide heavy-duty protection (and even send tamper alerts).
One of the biggest tells that your apartment is empty? Your lights. Ergo, one of the easiest ways to protect your home is super-smart light security technology.
BeON Home is one to beat. The LED bulbs are smart enough to record your light habits and replay them when you go out of town, so your bedside lamp turns on when it normally would. The bulbs also respond automatically to doorbells and to fire alarms, and can be controlled via a smartphone app.
But indoor lights aren’t the only ones to consider. Kuna produces outdoor security lights that are motion-triggered, hide secret security cameras, offer two-way communication, and connect to your phone.
Some of our favorite home security gadgets are the ones that, well, aren’t quite real. Like Fake TV. A nifty little gadget that imitates the flickering lights and changing colors of a television screen, it’ll make it look like you’re binging the latest season of Stranger Things—even when you’re actually at your parents’ house 200 miles away.
It’s a worst-case scenario, but if an intruder does manage to break in while you’re out of town, you can still keep valuables safe with a number of safes. From faux air vents that can hide jewelry, gadgets, and other valuables, to fake hardcover books—even a realistic-looking head of lettuce safe that can be stored in your fridge—Apartment Therapy has compiled an awesome list of in-disguise safes and stash spots.
Good Old-Fashioned Common Sense
Of course, technology can’t step in to fill every gap. Sometimes, a little bit of common sense—and in-person interactions—are just what’s needed to help protect your apartment when you’re away.
For instance—remember when we said it’s a good idea to build relationships with your neighbors? If you’ve done so, now’s the time to call in favors and ask them to collect your mail and packages while you’re away.
One final piece of advice: save those vacation selfies for when you’ve returned from your trip. As tempting as it might be to post that perfect beach shot, it’ll be better (and safer) as a #tbt.