The holidays are here, and burglars are ready for you. Are you ready for them? One of the best ways to deter home robbery is to make the burglar think you’re inside the house. Here’s how to do that:
- The first thing to do is enforce the burglar’s favorite point of entry: the front door. Though movies usually show intruders bashing through windows (for dramatic effect), the vast majority get in through the front door. The door should be protected with a full-scale deadbolt/lock device, ideally with a built-in alarm—which can be controlled remotely.Piper, which is controlled from your iOS or Android mobile device, has a 105db alarm that can be triggered to go off when the door or window has been opened or when motion has been detected.
- There are “door reinforcement” devices out there that beef up your door jams from kick-ins. Google them and get them!
- Burglars, of course, do make break-in attempts through windows, including second story, so keep them locked at all times.
- Make sure the garage is always locked. Unplug garage door openers if you are gone for a while.
- Never pack up your vehicle for vacation in plain view; do it inside the garage with the door down. If there’s not enough room, do it late at night in the dark.
- Put a vacation hold on your mail and newspaper delivery.
- If you plan on being on vacation, arrange to have your lawn mowed (unattended lawns look like you haven’t been home for a long time) and any snowfall shoveled while you’re gone.
- Have a trusted person park their car in your driveway to make it seem like you’re home.
- Whether or not you have a dog, leave out signs that you have a large dog, but don’t be stagey about it. A large, unlabeled bowl with a few “uneaten” bits of food is more convincing than a perfectly clean bowl labeled “THOR.”
- Use light timing devices rather than leaving a light on the entire time while you’re gone. Piper home automation capabilities can be set up to turn lights on and off and allow you to remotely view all home activity from your mobile device.
- Don’t display holiday gifts to the outside world; the pile under the tree should be impossible to see from outside.
- And just in case someone does break in, make it hard for them to find any valuables. For instance, place your jewelry in a fast food bag in a fake wastebasket. It’s not likely a crook will think to check it for diamonds.
- Don’t announce your vacation plans on Facebook until after you’ve returned.
- Don’t say anything on your voice mail welcome that suggests you’re out, such as “we will return soon.” Instead say, “We’re unable to answer right now; please leave a message.” Better yet, say something like, “We are home, but busy right now; I’ll return your call immediately.”
- Get a home security system that’s remotely controlled. Piper doesn’t require a monthly monitoring fee so you can save a few bucks around the holidays.
Robert Siciliano, personal and home security specialist for Piper, the All-In-One Home Security, Video Monitoring and Automation Device, discussing burglar proofing your home on Fox Boston. Disclosures.