You can’t always control who walks down your street and peers into your yard or home. All you can do is take the necessary precautions so that your house isn’t a target for burglary, like keeping your expensive car in the garage and leaving lights on when you’re away.
That being said, there will be times when you’re at home and you can’t protect your house the way you normally would because you’re distracted. When you’re cleaning, moving, watching the kids – these are all opportunities when burglars know your guard is down. But it doesn’t have to be! Keep the following events in mind next time they come up and remember to not let your home fall prey to unwanted attention from strangers.
Keep a close lookout during the following times.
1. When you’re installing your new TV
If you are installing a new television or any entertainment equipment, ask the delivery personnel to be as discreet as possible. If you have a back entrance to your home, it might be a good idea to have the delivery truck back into your driveway, so you can unload the new equipment out of sight. If you are able to pick up the items from the store, consider doing so because your car draws far less attention to your home than a delivery truck.
2. When you’re packing for a trip
A large pack of suitcases, or a car with jet skis strapped to the top are clear signs that your household is packing for a trip. If you can, pack up your car slowly, over several days leading up to your trip. Only bring one item out at a time. Never put all of your luggage and gear in the driveway at once and then load it into the car. This could be another opportune time to bring your car to the back of the house and load up there.
3. When you’re showing the house sitter around
If you’ve hired a house sitter for when you’re away, you’ll probably give her a tour of the house, showing her things like side gates to keep locked for the dogs and where you keep the mailbox key. While a house sitter can certainly scare off burglars, she may not be as intimidating as the regular residents of the house. Burglars casing your neighborhood know that house sitters aren’t as alert to suspicious activity. Try to be discreet when you’re showing your house sitter around the outside of your house. Don’t speak too loudly and make sure nobody is watching when you give her the tour.
4. When you’re cleaning out the garage
If you’re like most people, then your garage has likely become more of a storage space than a parking space. You may keep things like expensive electric appliances, televisions and bicycles out there. You may even have boxes of private documents stacked in your garage. When the day comes to clean that garage out, you need to take precautions to make sure nobody is watching. If you have a gate you can close that conceals your garage, close it. Otherwise, don’t open the garage door the whole way as you move in and out of it.
5. When you’re showing a potential subletter around
If you plan on sub letting your home, the only people who should know that are the ones who reply to the ad and your neighbors. Burglars watching your neighborhood may take the opportunity to pretend to be an interested subletter if they see you interviewing others. Once they’re in your home, they can easily steal something, or get a better understanding of the layout so they can come back later.
6. When you’re having electrical work done
If you’re having electrical work done, there is a good chance your power will be shut off for a brief period. A power outage is a gift to burglars, because it means your security system is down. Ask your electrician not to park in the driveway, if possible. If he says he’ll need to shut your power off for a few hours, make sure you or somebody else is home to keep an eye on your property.
You do your best to protect your home under normal circumstances, but some activities make your home particularly vulnerable to burglary, even when you’re there. During those times, you should make sure nobody suspicious is hanging around and keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary.