Step 6: On Vacation? Create the Occupancy Illusion
Maybe you laughed at your mother for leaving the lights on and the radio playing while you left for vacation, but she had the right idea. Those steps aren't quite enough, so try these strategies:
- Buy electronic timers that turn lights on and off at different times. Hook up a timer to your TV for a few hours each evening. Turn up the volume, too-not enough to annoy the neighbors, just enough that a lurker at the windowsill couldn't miss hearing it.
- Have your newspaper, deliveries and mail delivery suspended. If you don't have time to do this, ask a neighbor to pick them up for you.
- Ask a neighbor to park in your driveway or parking place.
- Think about having someone housesit your home. If it's a relative or friend, it may cost you no more than the contents of your refrigerator. You can also find professional housesitters, or housesitting services that find someone to stay while you're away. Expect to pay some money for this (you do want a professional, not just someone who wants a free place to crash), and both demand and check out references.
- Leave your shades as they are normally, or at least don't close up every one. One sign of a vacant house is closed shades during the day.
- Lock your garage door with a padlock.If there's nowhere to lock it, install a heavy latch that attaches the door to the door jamb. On the inside, insert the lock through a hole in the track.
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