How to keep your home safe with the IoT whilst on vacation

Last updated: 26 January 2023

The holiday season has well and truly started, but when you’re relaxing on the beach all you want to think about is topping up your tan and not whether you’ve locked the front door or turned the cooker off. Jetting off on our summer holiday often makes us worried about leaving our home unattended, so for peace of mind this summer, why not turn to IoT technologies to help secure your home and access it from anywhere?

Smart technologies for the home are already proving very popular, with many people relying on smart lighting and home voice assistants. But what gadgets are available that can help keep your home safe and ensure you have the most relaxing holiday possible? Keep reading to find out…

(Un)Lock your front door from anywhere

Smart locks are a great way to add an extra layer of security and convenience to your home. They are mostly WiFi or Bluetooth-enabled devices that send you notifications when someone visits your home, and lets you grant entry to those you want to allow in – all using a smartphone app or NFC key fob, for instance. More advanced versions of the smart lock can integrate with your current security system, allowing you to check it via your smartphone, or work with other smart technologies like your voice assistant. And if you’re panicking about whether you’ve locked your door while on holiday, you can check in with your lock via an app at any time.

The August Smart Lock Pro is considered to be one of the most reliable smart locks currently on the market. Using the August app, you can check whether your door is closed and locked. Also, the device will automatically unlock your house when you’re 20-30 feet from your door, granting you easy, keyless access. Conversely, the lock will automatically bolt into place if you leave the house in a rush!

Smart lock

Monitor who’s coming and going

To take your home security to the next level, invest into a smart security camera that keeps an eye on the people passing by your home and those trying to enter without your permission. These cameras stream footage of your home to your smartphone or tablet. Some smart cameras are even equipped with facial recognition, which adds an extra layer of security. For instance, the Netatmo Presence camera is equipped with deep learning capabilities which can detect the difference between humans, cars and animals entering its field of view and can notify its owners based on what it sees.

The Nest Outdoor Cam records full HD videos, which are stored for 30 days securely online. It will send alerts to your smartphone if it detects an unexpected noise, and you can also use a password-protected stream to share footage with your neighbors or, if necessary, the police.

 Smart camera

Keep your lights on at night

A classic burglar-prevention technique is to leave the lights on in the hallway or in some of the rooms at your house. However, that’s not very practical when you’re going away for a longer period as it wastes energy and it might become slightly suspicious if your lights are on during the day. With smart lighting you can control the lightning as if you really were at home. Connected to your smartphone or tablet, the smart lighting system allows you to pre-set timings for the lights to come on while you’re away, or you can manually flick the switch remotely in real-time if you want full control.

Philips Hue is a home wireless lighting system that lets you control your lights wherever you are and set up personalized lighting schedules, which can be randomized to simulate presence. When at home, you can conveniently control Philips Hue with voice commands through your voice assistant.

Smart lighting

Prevent fire-related incidents from far

Smart smoke detectors could really ease your mind while you’re away for a longer period. This is a smart system that detects smoke, fire and carbon monoxide and uses WiFi to securely send all members of the family a notification to their smartphones if something is wrong. It also provides you with the convenience of being able to test the alarm and know how much battery power it has left.

Nest Protect is a smart device that could replace your regular home detector as it warns against smoke and carbon monoxide with voice updates and can be controlled with your phone. If Nest Protect senses smoke, a connected Nest Cam can automatically record it and send you a video clip. The video will be stored securely in the cloud so that you can go back and see what happened.

Smart smoke detector


IoT Security

IoT devices themselves still raise some security questions, so when installing them at your home, security should be top of your mind. Make sure that the smart gadgets you choose are secure by design and do not undermine the security of your home network. But with the right tools, you’ll no longer need to rely on simply locking your door, leaving the lights on or throwing a spare key under the doormat to keep your house safe.

What IoT security tools have you experienced? Let us know any recommendations in the comments.

And wear sunscreen! 🙂

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