This post was originally published on May 21, 2015, and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

First and foremost, Memorial Day is a time to pause, reflect, and remember the men and women who gave their lives while serving this country. It is also a welcome relief that summer has finally arrived.

But before you pile the family into the car or book a last-minute flight for a weekend getaway, don't forget to cover your bases at home.

If you are going away this Memorial Day weekend, follow these three easy Memorial Day safety tips to help protect your home:

Memorial Day Safety Weekend Safety Tip #1: Call a Friend

Ask a family member, neighbor, or close friend to house or pet sit, so they can keep an eye on your property for suspicious activity. If you’re going to be away for more than a few days, discuss lawn care with your sitter or gardener; a lawn that looks overgrown is a sign of vacancy.

Stop your mail, or ask your house sitter to collect your mail and any delivered packages for you as well. If you don’t want to give out a spare key, smart locks are great for letting your house sitter in/out remotely. You can even give them unique access codes and receive alerts when they enter or exit. And smart doorbells allow you to see and answer your door whenever you’re not home.

Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tip #2: Pull the Plug

Unplug electronics and appliances to save money, and protect your home from an electrical fire or power surge. Examples include your TV, microwave, toaster oven, and any extension cords or power strips. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, more than 24,000 house fires were caused by electrical problems in 2019, at a cost of more than 1.2 billion dollars in damages.

Disconnecting devices will also help reduce energy consumption, saving you a few dollars to spend on weekend Mai-Tais or souvenirs. However, you don’t need to disconnect everything. For example, smart bulbs are energy-efficient lights that you can control remotely, making it look like you’re home.

Likewise, smart thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature remotely, so you can keep those energy bills down while away.

Memorial Day Weekend Safety Tip #3: All Systems Go

For Memorial Day safety -- or any other day of the year – consider installing a security system that compliments your smart home devices so you can monitor and control your home remotely while you’re away.

  • Ensure doors and windows are securely locked.
  • Adjust heating and cooling to provide your house sitter and pets with a comfortable temperature while saving money.
  • Create the illusion that you’re home by setting lights on an automatic schedule to make your home appear active.
  • With security cameras, view your home in real-time and get mobile alerts for triggered events.
  • Get emergency help dispatched to your home, even when you’re not there.

For trusted advice on how to secure your home while away, contact a Vector Security expert today.