summer home safety tips
Technology

Essential Summer Home Safety Tips You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Summer is the time for vacations, spending time with friends and family, and BBQing. But it’s also a season of heightened risks. Burglary rates spike, forest fires become more common, and energy bills skyrocket with the AC running nonstop. Plus, there’s always a lot of work to do around the house. 

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But did you know that great internet and IoT devices can help you manage these risks and improve your summer home experience? In this blog, we’ll explore essential summer home safety tips, focusing on four main areas: fire prevention, home security, smart home devices, and internet safety. Learn how to keep your home safe and secure while enjoying the best of the summer season.

1. Fire Prevention

summer home safety tips wildfire

California is no stranger to wildfires. In fact, wildfires are a significant concern during the summer months. Did you know that human activities cause most wildfires in California? According to a report by Axios, human actions such as unattended campfires, discarded cigarettes, and equipment use are leading causes of these devastating fires.  

Preventing wildfires starts with simple steps, especially regarding BBQ safety. Keep your BBQ away from flammable materials, and never leave it unattended. These precautions can prevent a fun summer cookout from becoming dangerous.  

Other fire prevention tips include:  

  • Clear dry vegetation regularly around your home. Dry leaves, grass, and other vegetation can fuel fires, so keeping your yard clean can significantly reduce wildfire risks.  
  • Install smoke detectors on every level of your home. These devices are crucial for early fire detection.  
  • Keep fire extinguishers in easily accessible locations, such as the kitchen and garage. Being prepared to respond quickly to a fire can make all the difference.

2. Home Security

Let’s talk about something very important: keeping your home safe from intruders, especially during the summer when break-ins tend to spike. We will look at two key areas: security systems and being thoughtful about social media privacy. 

Security Systems 

Imagine you’re off on a well-deserved summer vacation, sipping margaritas on a beach. The last thing you want is to worry about what’s happening back home. That’s where a good home security system comes in. 

Think of it as your home guardian. It includes door and window sensors, motion detectors, security cameras, and an alarm control panel. These devices work together to monitor your home and alert you if anything suspicious happens.   

You’ve probably heard of Arlo, Ring, ADT, and SimpliSafe. These are popular security system examples that offer a range of features. Some systems are DIY and easy to set up, while others require professional installation. 

Most modern security systems connect to your Wi-Fi. You can monitor your home from anywhere using your smartphone. So, while you’re lounging by the pool, you can check in and see that everything is secure back home. 

Avoid Oversharing on Social Media 

We all love to share our summer fun on social media, but oversharing can be risky. Here’s how to keep your home safe while still enjoying your online life. 

  • Keep vacation plans private. It’s tempting to announce your beach getaway, but wait until you’re back to post those pics. Letting everyone know your house is empty is like rolling out a welcome mat for burglars. 
  • Limit vacation posts. If your social media profiles are public, be cautious about sharing too much while away. Consider setting your profiles to private so only friends and family can see your updates. 
  • Check your privacy settings. Make a habit of reviewing your privacy settings regularly.  

Being thoughtful about what you share online lets you enjoy your summer adventures without worrying about home security. Combining a smart home security system with good social media privacy habits will keep your home safe and sound.

3. Smart Home Devices

Now let’s dive into the most exciting part of our summer home safety tips: smart home devices. Imagine your home working for you, making your life easier, safer, and more efficient. It’s possible – explore all the great IoT devices you’ll need this summer below. 

Smart Lighting 

Ever come home late at night and fumble with your keys in the dark? With smart lighting, you can say goodbye to those frustrating moments. Smart lights can turn on automatically when you approach, lighting up those sneaky dark corners around your home and adding an extra layer of security.  

But the magic of smart lighting doesn’t stop there: 

  • Indoor Smart Lighting. Smart bulbs like Philips Hue and Nanoleaf offer a range of colors and brightness levels that you can control with your phone or voice commands via Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. You can change color and brightness throughout the day to mimic natural light, helping you feel more energized or relaxed, depending on the time.   
  • Outdoor Smart Lighting. Ring and TP-Link are excellent options for outdoor spaces. Outdoor smart lights can automatically turn on when someone approaches your front door, deterring potential intruders. You can also set them to turn on and off at different times, making it look like you’re home even when you’re off enjoying a beach vacation. 

Installation is usually straightforward; most smart bulbs fit into standard light sockets, and light strips can be stuck to surfaces with adhesive strips. They connect to your home Wi-Fi or via Bluetooth and are managed through an app. 

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Smart Garage 

Picture this: you’re rushing out the door, late for a family BBQ, and halfway there, you can’t remember if you closed the garage. No problem! With a smart garage door opener, you can check and close it right from your phone. 

These devices connect to your home Wi-Fi and allow you to control your garage door through an app on your smartphone. You can open, close, and monitor your garage door from anywhere. This means you can let in a delivery driver who delivered an expensive package while you’re on a vacation or a family member who lost their keys.  

Some apps provide a history of openings and closings, which is great for tracking activity. You also get notifications if the garage is open for over 10 minutes. 

Popular Models: Chamberlain MyQ 

Smart Blinds 

Smart blinds are perfect for keeping your house cool during the day without lifting a finger. They adjust automatically to block out the scorching sun, saving you from skyrocketing AC bills. They also add a layer of privacy and security by making it look like someone is home even when you’re away. 

Like all IoT devices, smart blinds connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and can be controlled via an app, remote, or voice commands using Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri. You can schedule them to open and close at specific times, set them to respond to sunlight, and even control them remotely. Some models also integrate with smart home ecosystems. 

Automated Locks 

Smart locks are advanced locking systems that connect to your home’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing you to lock and unlock your door remotely using a smartphone app.  

Most smart locks offer keyless entry options such as PIN codes, fingerprint recognition, or even proximity sensors that unlock the door when you’re nearby. They can also integrate with other smart home devices for enhanced security and convenience. 

Popular Models: August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, Schlage Encode, Bold Smart Lock.  

Smart Sprinklers 

Smart sprinklers are automated watering systems that connect to your home Wi-Fi and can be controlled via a smartphone app. They use data from weather forecasts and soil sensors to determine the optimal times and amounts of water needed for your lawn. 

Then, they adjust their watering schedules based on real-time weather data. If rain is in the forecast, they’ll skip or reduce watering to prevent overwatering, which is both environmentally friendly and cost-effective.  

You can also set up different zones in your yard, each with its own watering schedule based on the specific needs of the plants and grass in that area. 

Popular Models: Rachio, RainMachine, Irrigreen 

Smart Thermostats 

For those who love their AC, a smart thermostat can save you a ton by cooling your home only when needed. Imagine walking into a perfectly cool house after a hot day at the park—bliss! 

It connects to your home’s Wi-Fi and can be managed via a smartphone app, voice commands, or even automatically based on your preferences and habits: 

  • Adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere using your smartphone. Whether you’re at work or on vacation, you can ensure your home is always comfortable. 
  • Many smart thermostats provide detailed energy reports, showing you how much energy you’re using and offering tips on how to save more. 
  • Devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat learn your schedule and preferences over time, automatically adjusting the temperature for maximum comfort and efficiency. 
  • Smart thermostats can integrate with other smart home devices, such as smart speakers and lights. For example, you can set your thermostat to lower the temperature when you turn off the lights at night. 

By only running your heating and cooling systems when needed, smart thermostats can significantly reduce your energy consumption and lower your utility bills. 

Popular Models: Nest, Ecobee, Honeywell. 

Geofencing & Automations 

Smart home devices are amazing on their own, but they become even more magical when we combine them with automation. Imagine your home reacting to your presence, adjusting settings, and performing tasks without you lifting a finger. This “if this, then that” type of automation is what makes a smart home truly smart. 

Automations save you time and effort by handling routine tasks automatically. You don’t have to worry about adjusting the thermostat, turning on lights, or running the vacuum manually. Plus, automation helps save energy and money by only running devices when needed.   

For example, using GPS or RFID technology, geofencing creates a virtual boundary around a specific location. When your smartphone crosses this boundary, it can trigger automated actions in your home. 

Here are some examples: 

  • Your smart thermostat can adjust the temperature so your house is perfectly comfortable when you walk in the door. Brands like Nest and Ecobee offer thermostats with geofencing capabilities. 
  • You can set up your smart vacuum to start cleaning when you leave the house. This way, you return to a spotless home without remembering to turn on the vacuum.   
  • Automation can turn on lights as you approach home, so you never walk into a dark house. 
  • Lights can be programmed to turn on and off at different times when you’re away to scare away potential intruders. 

You can create custom automations that combine multiple actions. For instance, you can set up an automation that turns on the porch light, adjusts the thermostat, and starts your favorite playlist as you arrive home. 

Smart BBQs and Grills 

Finally, for the grill masters, smart BBQs and grills can make you look like a pro. You’re hosting a summer cookout, chatting with friends, and playing games, all while your grill perfectly cooks those steaks without you having to hover over it.  

Smart BBQs and grills are high-tech grills that connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. They come with built-in sensors and smart features that adjust the temperature based on your cooking. Some even have apps that provide recipes and cooking tips and let you control the temperature, set timers, and receive alerts when your food is ready. 

Popular Brands and Models: Weber, Traeger, Green Mountain Grills.

4. Internet Safety

summer home safety tips

Let’s discuss something that often goes unnoticed: internet safety. You’ve got all these awesome smart devices making your home more secure and convenient, but they need a secure internet connection to work their magic.   

Here’s how to keep your network safe and sound. 

Create Guest Networks 

When friends and family visit, sharing your Wi-Fi is nice, but you don’t want them accessing your main network. Setting up a separate guest network is a simple way to secure your online data.   

With our Race CommandIQ® app, available for free to all our subscribers, you can easily create and manage guest networks.  

Keep IoT devices on the guest network too. This adds an extra layer of security. If your smart devices get compromised, they won’t have access to your main network, protecting sensitive information. 

Security Cameras and IoT Management 

Ensure that your home security cameras and IoT devices are using secure networks. Regularly update their firmware and use strong, unique passwords for each device. It might seem like a hassle, but these small steps can prevent big problems. 

Summer Home Safety Tips – Recap

Smart home devices aren’t just fancy gadgets—they’re tools to make your life easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Whether it’s keeping your home secure, saving on energy bills, or just adding a bit of convenience to your day-to-day life, these devices have got you covered.  

But to implement all these summer home safety tips, you need reliable internet. A poor connection can compromise your home’s safety while you’re vacationing.   

Race Communications is California’s leading fiber internet provider, offering fast and dependable service.   

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With great internet supporting your home security and IoT devices, you can enjoy enhanced convenience and protection for your family.  

Get Race Communications today and make sure your home is safe, smart, and summer-ready.