How to Keep Your House from Being Burglarized When You’re Out of Town
7 steps to home security
Look, you don’t have to be a Home Alone expert to know that the holiday season is like Christmas for criminals. Empty houses and deserted cul-de-sacs make easy picking for people who are out to get your stuff. And while we're sure you're clever enough to, you know, lock your doors and stuff, here are seven less obvious ways to deter thieves.
Set Timers for a Nighttime Light Show
An unlit house during the day is normal, but at night it’s an indication that no one’s there. Create the illusion that someone is home with manual timers that turn lights on and off at normal on-and-off hours.
Skip Social Media Posts Advertising Your Whereabouts
Guess what? That #roadtrip or #bahamas post just might be the clue a would-be criminal is looking for. Unless you have a private account, save your beach selfie for #tbt.
Reinforce a Wood Doorjamb
A charming doorframe gives your abode major curb appeal, but it makes your lock’s strike plate a weak point. Shell out a few bucks to have a heavy-duty plate installed. It’ll make illegal entry tougher--and up the resale value should you decide to move.
Protect the Garage Door Too
This big, bad door is criminally convenient for thieves looking to move big-ticket items since they can back in a car and load up without anyone noticing. Keep it shut in place with a double bar police lock.
Get Some Neighborly Help
Let a trusted neighbor know where you’ll be, for how long, and who might be stopping by to feed your cat. That way, if they see anything fishy, they’ll know to say something pronto. (And while you’re at it, ask them to pick up your mail. An overflowing mailbox is another telltale sign that you’re out of town.)
Don’t Forget the Windows
Look, a set of wireless window alarms costs $9. Done? Done.
Rig Up a Fake TV
OK, this one is marginally crazy, but hear us out: The FakeTV mimics the effect of a flickering TV screen but uses only as much power as a night-light, meaning it won’t run up the electric bill while you’re gallivanting in Napa for two weeks.