Kevin McAllister went to some extreme, albeit hilarious, measures to keep the burglars out of his home, but whether you are gone for a weekend or two weeks it only takes 10 minutes of one evening for a thief to run through your belongings.
Remember these guidelines when you leave your home alone.
- Always leave a light on and consider motion-detecting outdoor lights.
Use an energy-saving bulb.
- Suspend newspaper deliveries (two papers left out is enough of an indicator that no-one is home).
- Ask a neighbor to check your mail (a thief can do the same and if it builds up you know what he’s thinking)
- Secure all doors and windows and draw all shades. Check all door and window hardware as weak hinges and locks can be defeated. Broom handles in sliding glass doors and windows and nails inserted at the top of double-hung windows are a deterrent
- Lock the interior door to the garage (garage doors are notorious weak links and if they are compromised at least your home is still locked).
- Keep your front and back yards clear of leaves and clutter (neglect indicates absence).
- Share with neighbors you trust that you are leaving town and to keep an eye on your place.
- Do not announce on an answering machine, voicemail, or personal email auto-response that you are on vacation. Inform people on a need-to-know basis.
- Approach your home as a thief would and think of ways they may break-in or what valuables they may see out in the open and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation.
Please share other tips in the comments for leaving your home alone.