OKLAHOMA — According to the FBI, a home burglary occurs an average every 20 seconds in the U.S., and there is an increase in the summer months, due in part to families heading out on vacation while the children are out of school.
Fortunately, the latest connected home devices can provide vacationers with remote access to monitor and manage a variety of functions to help keep their homes secure, no matter where their travels lead.
“It used to be that vacationers stopped the mail and arranged for someone to pick up the newspapers and mow the lawn to give the appearance of being home,” said Jeff Heeley, director of sales, corporate-owned channel for U.S. Cellular in Oklahoma. “Now there is a host of additional ways to remotely protect your home with today’s cutting-edge connected devices that can be accessed anytime, anywhere via a smartphone such as the iPhone 7 and our high quality nationwide network.”
Almost one third of smartphone owners recently surveyed by U.S. Cellular said they use their device to control their home security system, lighting or other smart home technology at least once a day, with 48 percent doing so once a month or more. Following are some of the devices that U.S. Cellular recommends for vacation bound consumers to provide some peace of mind all is well on the home front.
* Nest cam indoor: Never worry about what is going on back home again. Nest Cam allows vacationers to look after the house 24/7 with live video and a 160-degree wide-angle view, all from a smartphone. It even provides phone alerts if motion or sound are detected, so homeowners instantly know if anything is amiss.
* NEst protect: While no one wants to deal with a fire or other issue when away from home, fast response time can greatly impact the outcome and help minimize damage. Just knowing that Nest can send instant phone alerts for smoke and carbon-monoxide, while also calling attention to a low battery or sensor failure, can make it easier to relax and enjoy the time away.
* Chamberlain MyQ garage door opener: Ever been hundreds of miles into a trip and worried whether the garage door was left open? In the event that it was, or is opened at any point while the homeowner is away, MyQ Garage Door Opener will send an alert, and the garage door can be closed remotely via a Samsung Galaxy S7 or other tablet.
* Incipio Commandkit wireless smart light bulb adapter with dimming: With this smart technology, there are no more worries about forgetting to switch off the lights or fumbling with multiple timers to control the lights to give the impression someone’s home. Simply use the app to toggle specific lights or an entire home with integrated Siri voice commands for effortless accessibility.
* Ring video doorbell: This handy device enables home owners to respond to someone at the door, even when they’re not home. With Ring video doorbell, see, hear and speak to anyone who stops by the house, and always know when a package arrives.
Ranging in price from less than $20 to around $200, these devices can go a long way towards ensuring a more relaxing vacation.