8 Clever Ways to Make it Look Like Someone is Home
Though homeowners sometimes come face-to-face with burglars, chances are the burglar did not plan it that way. Burglars specifically look for homes that appear empty to make their heist swift and without incident.
One way of helping keep your home off a burglar’s hit list? Make it look like someone is always home. A few simple steps, used individually or in combination, could make all the difference when it comes to keeping your home safe when you’re away.
1. Talk to someone inside when you leave.
As you walk out the door, carry on a full conversation with a fake person inside. Remind them to turn the oven on at 7 p.m., to record a television show for you at 8 p.m. and so on. If a burglar were looking at your street, scoping out properties that had been low on activity for a while, this false conversation could make them write off your home.
2. Have someone park in your driveway.
If you’re going on a road trip and leaving your driveway empty for days, ask a neighbor who has several cars to simply park one of them in your driveway. Houses with empty driveways are often bait for burglars.
3. Order some footsteps.
If dirt, snow or other natural ground cover might showcase footprints leading up to your home, a burglar will notice if those footprints are missing for a long time—that means nobody has walked to or from your front door in a while. Ask your neighbor to simply walk up to your front door once or twice a day while you’re traveling and make footsteps for you in your absence.
4. Play a false soundtrack.
Make a recording of you and your family yelling across the house, asking for things like toilet paper or a glass of water; get a few incidents of your dog barking on there. Now you have a recording of normal life in your home. You can play this recording, either through your CD player, television or laptop while you’re away; keep it on a loop, so it goes on until you get back. Burglars listening in on your home will believe it is fully occupied.
5. Put up an event sign.
Simply putting a few balloons up on your porch and a sign at the front of your driveway that says something like, “Evan’s Birthday!” can make a burglar believe your home is far too busy for them to sneak into right now. You could also put a sign on your front door that says “Recording in Session”—as if to say you run a radio show or recording studio from your home, which also indicates that people are inside.
6. Turn on your appliances remotely.
Through your home automated system, you can use your smartphone to turn on appliances at random times throughout the day. You can turn on music, television, lights and more.
7. Make a false answering machine.
If you still have an old-fashioned answering machine, the kind that blasts a message like, “Sorry we’re not home right now, please leave a message!” change the outgoing message when you travel. Instead, record a message that makes it sound like you have answered the phone. You can say something like, “Hi! It’s so good to hear from you! Uh huh,” and make it sound to outsiders like you picked up your telephone. Inevitably, you’ll also receive a few hilarious voicemails.
8. Have your neighbor take in your trash.
If your trash cans stay on the street for days on end, burglars might suspect that nobody is home. Ask your neighbors to bring your trash cans in for you while you travel and back out on pickup day.
A vacant home is like a playground for burglars, so do what you can to make it seem like your house is always buzzing with activity.