Protecting Your Home While You’re on Vacation

May 18, 2021

With Memorial Day Weekend just around the corner and summer sneaking upon us, you may be ready to start planning some family getaways! While the idea of a vacation may conjure up feelings of relaxation, excitement, and peace, you might also be biting your nails at the thought of leaving your home empty and unsupervised while you’re away.

There’s no need to interrupt your stress-free vacation with worries about your home security. When it comes to keeping your home safe, it’s all about preparation. Here’s are some important tips for securing your house and property when you’re going out of town.

dog on a leash

Get a professionally monitored home security system

We can’t stress this enough! While you may be tempted by “quick and easy” DIY self-monitoring solutions, they may not provide the same peace of mind as professionally monitored systems – especially when you’re far away and possibly off the grid. Home security services like Phoenix Systems offer round-the-clock monitoring, 24/7, so that if an alarm is triggered, the proper authorities are immediately notified so they can get to your home quickly. This is especially crucial if you’re out of town without great cell or internet service.

A truly smart home security system can and should also have fire and carbon monoxide detectors integrated so that if an emergency is detected, it will notify both you (via a push notification through the mobile app) and first responders.

Summer home backyard patio TV

Set up smart security camera notifications

When you’re on vacation, you likely won’t want to spend your time constantly checking your security cameras to see what’s going on around your home. Instead, with smart security cameras powered by, you can set up custom notifications to let you know if someone (or something) is hanging around your home. With Video Analytics technology, you can be immediately notified if a person, animal, or vehicle is detected on your security cameras, and the mobile app will send you a video clip to check it out. 

If you’ve already got your security camera notifications set up, now may be the time to revisit your settings. While you may not need to be notified about cars in your driveway in your day-to-day routine, you may want that heads up when you’re out of town.

kids sliding down home stairs

Tell your neighbors and family

It’s always great to have an extra set of trusted eyes on your home. Before you head out for your vacation, let your neighbors or close-by family or friends know you’ll be away and ask them to keep an eye out for you. It’s also a good idea to ask them to collect any mail or packages that might be delivered while you’re gone. Nothing says, “nobody’s home!” like piled-up mail, and you don’t want any possible intruders knowing your house is empty. 

You might also want to consider setting up some temporary access codes for your trusted people with smart locks. This way, should you want them to go inside and make sure everything is okay, they’ll have their own code to enter, and it will expire at a set date and time.

Extra tip: If you’re not comfortable having other people collect your mail, you can place a hold with the post office so that they pause your deliveries.

motorized shades in summer home

Don’t tell the whole world

While giving some trusted friends a heads up is a good idea, you’ll probably want to hold back on announcing your getaway to the whole world. The fewer people who know your home is empty, the less vulnerable it is. Try not to blast your location status and vacation plans all over social media, answering machines, etc. While you may think that only family and friends will see it, it’s safer to not risk potential intruders finding out.

video camera and family playing

Lock up windows and doors

This is probably the most obvious, but it should still be said! Make sure to check ALL windows, doors, and possible entry points to your home before you leave. It’s also worthwhile to consider installing smart sensors that can be integrated into your home security system so that you can view all of these entry points at a glance, and make sure they stay closed while you’re away.

Extra tip: Have you ever gotten an hour into a road trip or flight and all of a sudden you can’t remember if you closed the garage or front door? Geo-fencing technology powered by is a great way to keep your peace of mind. Once you exit your set area, your system can automatically run a “scene” to lock everything up for you.

video camera and family playing

Get a video doorbell

With a smart video doorbell, you can answer your door even from miles and miles away! This is particularly helpful if, for example, you have a package being delivered. You can easily greet the delivery person and ask them to leave the package with your next-door neighbor, or you could even open up your smart locks and request that they leave it safely inside.

Leave some lights on

Remember, you never want to make it obvious that your house is unoccupied. So while you definitely don’t want to leave all the lights and electronics running, it may be a good idea to leave a porch light and/or hallway light on. With a smart home system, you can even schedule smart lights to turn on and off at certain times to simulate activity in your home!

Ready to upgrade your security?

Reach out to us at 678-566-2640 or and a Phoenix Rep will be happy to discuss your needs and options!

Lighting is an essential and powerful element of any home’s design. When designed with intention, lighting can not only make your home feel warmer and more welcoming, but it can increase productivity, highlight your favorite areas of your house, and add character. Plus, choosing the right bulbs and fixtures from your home can impact energy efficiency. 

There are four main types of lighting you should keep in mind when designing or revamping your home. Each serves its own purpose and comes in a variety of options.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting provides the overall illumination and sets the mood for a room. Typically, it floods the room with lighting from above, from ceiling-mounted lights and ceiling fans. Wall sconces can also provide enough lighting to brighten a room.

Of course, ambient lighting can come in a variety of styles which can work well in larger rooms like kitchens and living rooms. Ceiling lights can be dome-shaped flushed fixtures, or recessed lights for a sleeker and more minimal look. They can be a part of a ceiling fan or stand alone for a bold statement-making chandelier. Or, tall floor lamps can provide excellent ambient lighting, especially in rooms with high ceilings.

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is more dedicated to style than function. With the use of directional track lights or spotlights, you can guide the eyes toward artwork or architectural elements within your home that deserve special attention.

This type of lighting can add character to your home, setting the stage for your favorite spaces and pieces to shine. Options like cove lighting can be installed near your tray ceiling or crown molding to bring those features to life.

Task Lighting

There are a lot of tasks and activities we perform in our homes on a daily basic. From cooking and preparing your morning coffee to reading, writing, and working at home. Task lighting can illuminate the necessary areas for you to do your best work. 

Under-cabinet lighting is a great way to brighten up the counter tops when you’re prepping meals, while also highlighting your beautiful backsplashes, countertop décor, coffee bar, and more. Then, when it’s time to settle in for the night, task lighting by your bedside can help you crack open a good book to wind down.

Natural Lighting

Never underestimate the power of natural lighting within your home. Sunlight streaming in through your windows can instantly make a home feel more welcoming and comfortable. Of course, while we have no power over the sun outside, we can manage the ways we incorporate it into our lighting design through smart shading.

With a variety of fabric options, you can let just enough light in to brighten your home, while also controlling unnecessary glares, or even keeping your bedroom dark and cozy.

Source: Control4

Get Smarter About Lighting

The lighting in your home should feel intuitive and comforting, not cumbersome and overwhelming. With so many lights in your house, it can help to integrate them all into your smart home system. This way, you can manage them all from a single app, or even automate them based on your routines and energy-management needs. Smart lighting systems can even make your home safer, so you never come home to a dark house, and you can deter intruders while you’re on vacation.

 Phoenix Systems offers free consultations with our smart home pros to help design and install lighting solutions that work for you.