Follow these common-sense hints and tips to ensure your home is as secure as possible while you’re away.
- Hire a house sitter
It could be a friend looking for a place to crash, a friend’s trustworthy college kid, a helpful neighbor (we’re sure they still exist…somewhere), or even someone who advertises. Whoever they are, they’ll ward off unwanted attention simply by hanging out in your humble abode.
- Don’t advertise your absence on social media
The chance of a tweet or status update leading to a burglary is, of course, small. Most social network users are savvy enough to know not to broadcast things like their address on Twitter or Facebook. But it may be worth thinking twice about what you put online if you’re account’s visible to people other than friends and family.
- Curtains – open or closed?
Leaving your curtains open means neighbors and friends can see if anything unusual is happening inside your place. On the other hand, closing them prevents unwanted people from seeing your stuff – though, of course, a change of habit could signal you’re not at home. It’s a tough call – perhaps it’s best to hide movable expensive items from plain sight and leave curtains as they normally are during the day.
- Put some lights on a timer
Timer plugs into the outlet and lamp plugs into the timer – simple. It may be an oldie, but it’s still a goodie. Admittedly, lights going on and off regular as clockwork won’t deter a criminal mastermind who’s casing your joint. Putting the TV on loudly with a timer is a better deterrent, but still not as good as a sitter.
- Ask a neighbor to take ‘your’ trash out
It could be yours, or it could be theirs. No matter, if you can cajole your neighbor to put some bags out front on trash day, it’ll give the impression you’re at home.
- Remove your ‘emergency’ key
If you’re one of those who has a spare key stuffed under a flower pot or tucked underneath a loose tile, consider relocating it to a more conventionally safe spot than a ‘hiding’ place.
- Suspend mail delivery and newspaper subscriptions
Few things scream ‘this house is empty’ more than mail and newspapers piling up on the porch and in the front yard. Put them temporarily on hold or ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
- Put some footprints and tire tracks on your snowy driveway
A fresh snowfall is as big a signal that you’re away as mail and papers piling up. Ask a neighbor to drive and/or walk on your driveway after a fresh snowfall.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Image: Håkan Dahlström)