During the winter months, the weather here in Jacksonville may be chillier than some Floridians
would prefer. But in a city that hasn’t had snow in over thirty years, a winterized home is not all
that different from a home that has not been winterized.
That being said, there are still measures Florida residents can take in order to prepare their
homes for a safe and secure winter.
Lock All Windows and Doors
The first safety precaution anyone can make, whether they own a home or rent an apartment, is
keeping their doors and windows locked. This may seem obvious, as it is likely already a habit
for most people, but it is still an important reminder. If you are not already vigilant about locking
up, now is the time to start. Check all of the windows and doors to ensure that they have
properly functioning locks.
Gain even more security and peace of mind when you utilize smart locks as part of a fully
integrated, custom home security system from SafeTouch. With products like our Smart Door
Lock, which has a motorized deadbolt, you can lock and unlock your door with the touch of a
few buttons or via the MySafeTouch app.
(Not) Home for the Holidays
Burglaries or package theft can be a concern during the winter holiday season especially. After
all, people spend a lot of money during this time, often keeping more valuable gifts, cash, and
gift cards in their homes than usual. While you are at work, out shopping, or visiting family,
burglars might be at your house finding out what you have under the tree. Don't let the Grinch,
or anyone else, steal your family’s Christmas this year!
To prevent package theft specifically, you can coordinate your delivery times, or choose to pick
up your items at a designated location. Many major parcel services, such as FedEx, allow you
to customize your delivery details to ensure that your packages are not simply left outside the
house while you are not there. If you are hoping for even more protection against porch piracy,
consider a locked delivery box. These drop-off containers provide a secure, pirate-proof place
where your mail service providers can leave your purchases.
Home Security for Snowbirds
Keeping one’s home safe in the winter may be especially important to “snowbirds” who spend their winters in Florida with us but reside in northern states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, or
Michigan for the rest of the year. During the winter months, your usual homes may sit empty in
the cold, damp, snowy climate you’ve come to Florida to escape!
While SafeTouch Security may not be able to provide all your home security needs up north, we
still care about you and your home. For that reason, we certainly do not recommend an "out of
sight, out of mind" attitude for snowbirds! In fact, your home may be very much in both the sight
and mind of burglars. Believe it or not, the winter months make a potential criminal’s target easy
to pick out. It is not difficult for these people to spot an unoccupied house. Potential burglars will
notice if your driveways are not being plowed and your sidewalks are not being shoveled. They
will observe that the lights in your house are not turning on during waking hours despite earlier
sunsets and longer nights.
There are a few ways that snowbirds can make keep their homes safe and secure while they
enjoy life in the Sunshine State:
Create the Illusion of an Occupied House
The things listed above as possible indicators to burglars that your home is not currently
occupied are not inevitable. Actually, they can be easily avoided. While it probably is not going
to be necessary to rig your home or create elaborate party scenes à la Home Alone, it may
require creative planning on your part.
For snow removal, hire a service or a neighborhood kid (or ask a local friend or family member
to take care of the hiring or removal themselves). You can take care of this ahead of the
season, or keep track of snowfall back home and make arrangements as they become
Lights can be set to come on and turn off at specified times. Alternatively, you could hire or ask
someone (or more than one person) to "house sit" or check in throughout the week.
To further prevent your home from appearing unoccupied, you can also redirect your mail and
cancel unwanted subscriptions. This will help avoid stacks of unopened mail being left in your
driveway or outside your front door.
Prepare for Inclement Weather by Winterizing
From insulation to the furnace to the plumbing, there are many important considerations when
looking to properly winterize your home. Avoid water damage from frozen, burst pipes by
making sure your heating system remains functional when the temperature in the house dips
below 55 degrees. Based on the specifics of your home, it may be a better option to completely
drain the pipes and disconnect the water supply.
Make It a Smart Home
Home automation is the easiest way to monitor your home from afar. Upgrading technology to
make your security system part of a fully integrated smart home is an excellent option for
snowbirds who want to keep an eye on security cameras, sensors, locks, and more.
MySafeTouch App for Peace of Mind
One of the most remarkable changes to home security in the last couple of decades has to do
with the invention and rise of the smartphone. Having the world at your fingertips can be both a
blessing and a curse, but one thing is certain: smartphones have made more than a few
everyday tasks and concerns much easier to manage.
With the mySafeTouch app, you can keep an eye on security cameras, locks, and thermostats
remotely. For more support in protecting your Florida residence this winter, reach out to our
customer service team!