1. INSTALL TIMERS ON YOUR ELECTRONICS
A dark house at night for a week straight is a sure sign that someone is on vacation. By the same token, you don’t want to just flip a light on as you head out the door and leave it on the entire time. Luckily, there are a huge variety of timers on the market that plug right into an outlet and turn your lights and other electronics on and off at certain times of day.
2. LEAVE THE BLINDS OPEN IF YOU NORMALLY DO
If you’re someone who regularly leaves the blinds open in your home during the day, don’t go closing them when you leave for vacation. It may seem strange and you might feel that you don’t want anyone peeping into your home while you’re not there, but it’s also an obvious giveaway to burglars that something is outside the normal routine. As already noted, you want things to look normal and lived in — a house that’s all shuttered up for a week straight does not give that appearance.
3. DON’T LEAVE SPARE KEYS OUT
If you have a spare key hidden somewhere — under a mat, attached to a mailbox, in a fake rock — now is the time to remove them and stow them away. If a would-be thief knows you’re away, they’ll feel free to take their time in searching for spare keys. They also know all the most common hiding spots way better than you do, so don’t try fooling them.
4. LOCK THE GARAGE DOOR
If you have an automatic garage opener (rather than a manual door that you have to open and close by hand), you’re already pretty secure. Those doors are hard to open for burglars. There is a workaround, however, called “fishing.” It’s where a burglar will snake a coat hanger through the top of the door, and pull the emergency release trigger, turning off the automatic opener and allowing the door to be opened manually. This isn’t possible on all openers, but it’s definitely a risk for some.
5. HIRE A HOUSE SITTER
One option that covers many of these tactics is to hire a house sitter. Whether a family member, a friend, or other acquaintance (nannies often make great house sitters!), having someone actually stay at your home to care for and keep an eye on it is a great way to ensure its safety.
Robert Garcia, Realtor®
Zillow Profile: http://bit.ly/UqavOb
Eric Stewart Group of Long and Foster Realtors
795 Rockville Pike | Rockville | MD | 20852