If you’re concerned about the security of your home when you’re away, there are some things you can do to give the appearance that you’re still around. In general, most thieves look for an easy target; they aren’t likely to go after a home that seems to have someone in it, especially if there are empty homes on the same block.
1. Place a Temporary Hold on Your Mail
Rather than asking someone to pick up your mail for you, you can simply direct the postal service to hold on to your mail for a certain amount of time and to deliver it later on. Mail stacked up inside of your mailbox is a tell-tale sign that you’re not home, but someone regularly coming to pick up your mail can also be a signal. It’s much easier to simply have the mail wait for you at the post office.
2. Schedule Your Lights and Television on a Timer
Simply having your lights on all the time may not be enough to deter an intelligent thief; in fact, they may note that your lights are always on and take that as a sign that you’re away. But you can schedule your lights on a timer instead, which will turn your lights on and off during ordinary waking hours. As an additional bonus, you can schedule a smart television or a music device to play sounds while you’re away–as though you were watching television and listening to music. Do make sure that it isn’t too loud and doesn’t play at night though, or you might come home to neighborly complaints.
3. Remember to Hire a Yard Service
If you’ll be gone for longer than a week, you should have someone stop by to either mow the lawn or rake the leaves. An unkempt lawn is a sure sign of a vacant home–especially if your yard is normally well-kept. As an additional benefit, it means that you won’t need to deal with any overgrowth once you get back! If you have deliveries that you couldn’t stop (such as FedEx or UPS packages), you can also ask the yard service to put them to the side while they’re there, thereby killing two birds with one stone.
4. Avoid Closing Your Drapes
Many people close their drapery or blinds when they leave, but this can actually have the reverse effect. After all, even when you are home, there are times when you can’t be seen through the windows. Completely closed drapery can seem unusual if you normally leave it open–and, even worse, it means that your neighbors won’t be able to see intruders in your house. However, what you should do is move any expensive items (such as computers) away from the open windows so that they cannot be seen. You don’t want to accidentally tempt someone into a “smash and grab”!
Using the above tips, you should be able to convince most people that you’re still home. Don’t forget that you should never tell people when you’re away–except if you want to ask a close friend to watch over your house for you. The more people who know you’re away, the more likely the information is to get into the wrong hands.