Is it a crime these days to use your best judgment, be informed and keep your home as safe as possible while you are traveling over the holidays? In 2008, there were more than 2 million burglaries in the United States, according to the FBI. Don’t want to be a statistic? If you’re oddly more than fine with getting pilfered, read on.
Hide In The Dark
Make it easy for burglars to hide by keeping the outside of your house as dark as possible. Don’t install flood lights, motion sensors or decorative lighting to make them insecure or help neighbors keep an eye on your home. Also: forget about trimming overgrown hedges. Burglars love having dense shrubbery to blend in with while they are peeping in your windows and you want to help them out.
Don’t Use Your Fancy Alarm System
What’s the point of using one of those anyway? They are annoying. Even if you have an alarm system, don’t set it! This is especially helpful for burglars who peer in through windows to see it is disarmed. Say you live in New Mexico, for example. You are probably thinking home security isn’t a big deal, right? Don’t bother to check the statistics (5,465 burglaries reported in 2010) – just occasionally remember to lock the front door and you’ll be fine!
While out of town this holiday, make sure to make it obvious you are gone. Don’t bother contacting the post office or paper boy to put a hold on your mail. Instead, let newspaper piled on your door step and fliers jammed in the door signal that you haven’t been home in days. Snowbanks or unkempt landscaping? Not your problem. This just tells burglars you’ve been gone for awhile and probably will be for a few more days.
Another tip: Leave cardboard boxes of expensive appliances, gaming systems, new TVs and other fun stuff piled out on the sidewalk. This lets burglars know all about your fun, new gadgets that are sitting unprotected in your vacant home.
Forget to Lock Up
That includes windows in the kitchen and on the second floor, garage doors and back porch entrances. Burglars probably won’t think to just try the door, right? If they knock and you don’t answer, they might just walk away. Convicted burglars told Michelle Crouch from the Reader’s Digest that they always knock before they walk right through the front door. But maybe they’ll forget to try your house on the days you forget to lock up.
Broadcast Your Departure Dates
Make a Facebook announcement that you are headed out for the week and can’t wait to enjoy your family and friends in Iowa. Update on Twitter occasionally letting burglars know how many days until you’ll be home. As long as you let all of your online friends (and strangers) know, you are safe. Just don’t bother telling your trusted neighbors you will be gone because there’s no need for them to watch your house for suspicious behavior.
Keep Valuables In The Open
If you can remember, stash cash in your sock drawer and jewelry in the bedside table. Keep guns in a visible case and other valuables out in the open so burglars can see them right through your window that’s missing curtains because you forgot to close them before leaving. Nothing says “I’m Yours” like an empty house with shiny gadgets on display.
Mary Reed Mary researches and writes about developments in web design, hosting and development. She is a freelance web designer and content provider and loves her home with a view of the San Francisco Bay.