The holidays are a time for visiting friends and family near and far. The holidays, sad to say, is also prime time for residential break-ins as would-be-burglars scope out neighborhoods for those tell-tale signs of an empty house. You remember the original Home Alone movie, right? That kind of thing.
Luckily, and with a little planning, you can fool passers-by into believing you’re home even when you’re gone for days, giving you peace of mind when you’re miles away from home sweet home.
Occupy the Driveway – Ask a neighbor if they’ll mind parking one of their cars in your driveway while you’re out of town. If they have friends or relatives in town, they might even need some extra driveway space.
Mail Call – One of the biggest telltale signs that you’re gone for days is a pile of mail in the mail box and packages or newspapers piled up by your front door. Before leaving town, ask your local post office to hold your mail for the dates you’ll be gone. And have a friend or neighbor grab your newspapers and hold any packages that arrive until you return.
Take Out the Trash – If you know you’ll be away on trash day, ask a neighbor to roll your garbage and recycling bins out to the curb – even if they are empty. And don’t forget to have them roll them back after the trucks come around. This makes it look like business as usual for passers-by.
Time It – Chances are you don’t sit home in pitch-black silence on a regular basis. So while you’re away, put a few lamps and a television on timers to turn on once the sun goes down. There are even Wi-Fi enabled devices that you can control from an app on your smartphone.
While you’re away, it’s a good idea to turn your water main valve to the off position to prevent any accidental water leaks and flooding, as well.