Traveling for the holidays is something my family always looks forward to. There's no better way to close out the year than by hitting the road, singing holiday songs at the top of our lungs, spending time with family and friends, and eating delicious food.
But if you're anything like me, whenever you travel, a little voice in the back of your mind says, "Is my home safe? What if a fire breaks out? Could a pipe burst? Could a thief break in while I'm away?" So even though I love holiday travel, I'm never able to completely relax.
So I breathed a sigh of relief when I was contacted by Ooma—a leading internet home communications hub—with the opportunity to deliver 4 tips for keeping your home safe and secure when you're on the road this holiday. Before you lock your doors and hop in the car, make sure you follow these steps to ensure your home is safe.
TIP #1: DON'T TURN YOUR THERMOSTAT OFF
Before leaving for an extended trip, it's important to lock in a safe temperature in your central heating system. If you live somewhere with cold winters, don't turn your thermostat off! To prevent your pipes from freezing, set the temperature lower than usual—ideally between 40 and 55 Fahrenheit. Live in a warmer climate? Leave the thermostat at about 69 Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can completely avoid worry by controlling your thermostat remotely. Ooma detects when your thermostat is on "Away" mode and will automatically forward any home calls to your mobile device.
TIP #2: SHUT OFF THE GAS AND UNPLUG ALL APPLIANCES
Always turn off gas-powered devices such as stoves, ovens, and fireplaces, and unplug all appliances. This can prevent any accidental fires and potentially hazardous carbon monoxide leaks into your home, as well as save energy. This is especially important if you have pets at home who can't defend themselves against unforeseen hazards. For an added layer of protection, be in the know—Ooma can warn you via text and direct you to call 911 when your Nest Protect smoke/carbon monoxide detector has been triggered.
TIP #3: DON'T KEEP YOUR TRAVEL A SECRET
When leaving home for several days, tell someone you trust where you'll be in case of emergency, such as a fire, burglary, or carbon monoxide leak. Friends staying in town or a thoughtful neighbor could be options. They can keep an eye out for suspicious activity and notify you of any out-of-the-ordinary occurrences. Ooma allows you to be notified immediately when 911 is dialed and you can call them or call police to investigate.
TIP #4: LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY TO MONITOR YOUR HOME
Thanks to technology, our homes are getting smarter and smarter. Did you know there are countless apps that can connect to systems in our homes—from central temperature to security systems, light bulbs to the Amazon Echo? The Ooma Telo seamlessly interacts with your favorite smart home products and services to make your home safer and more convenient than ever before. Whether it be increased levels of carbon monoxide or a home break-in, Ooma can be the first to alert you of any danger.
You can learn more about Ooma's home monitoring system and buy an Ooma Telo at Ooma.
Has an emergency ever happened at your home while you were away? Tell me about it in the comments below!
**I was not paid to post this. I was sent a FREE 45-piece Holiday Travel Safety Kit, which includes 1 year of 24-hour roadside assistance, 30-piece first aid kit, 10-gauge booster cables, 3 AAA batteries, 5-piece cable ties, car blanket, knit gloves, S.O.S. sign, triangle travel case, and an LED flashlight. We are Ooma users anyway so I was thrilled to share these tips with you.**