Traveling for the holidays is such a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, there’s really no better way to end the year than by getting out of town to see family. On the other hand, I worry constantly about whether everything will be okay back home. I have anxiety disorder, so my worries go into overdrive.
Even if you’re not plagued by constant fretting over every worst case scenario you can imagine, I think we all have a bit of natural anxiety when it comes to leaving our house unattended. That 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.
That’s why I’m happy to partner with 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.

Tips to Keep Your Home Safe During Holiday Travel

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 http://www.ooma.com.
Has an emergency ever happened at your home while you were away? Tell me about it in the comments below! 

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