"" Writer's Wanderings: 10 Ways to Make Home Safer While Away

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 Ways to Make Home Safer While Away

1. First and foremost is a security system. Whether you hook into a system that sends a response unit to your home or just sets off a loud alarm, it is a good deterent.

2. Most communities will let you call the police station and ask for a house watch while you are gone. They will ask the dates you will be gone, if you have any lights you will leave on or are on timers, and whether you have anyone coming to check the house while you are gone.

3. Random light timers are a good way to make it appear that you are home. If you don't use random timers, set the regular timers to correspond to your usual routine at home.

4. Tell a trusted neighbor you will be away and ask them to keep an eye for anything unusual.

5. Be careful who you tell about your holiday plans. I was in the post office one day and heard a lady loudly explaining how many months they were spending away in Florida. It would not have been difficult for someone to find where she lived and take advantage of her absence.

6. Make sure to stop your mail. You can ask for a vacation hold for up to 30 days. If you plan to be away longer than that, you need to make other arrangements like forwarding or having someone collect your mail.

7. Contact your newspaper carrier and stop delivery for the period you are gone.

8. Ask a neighbor or friend to put a bag of trash out on trash day where yours is usually set--especially if you are gone for more than a week.

9. One of our relatives had a mannequin head that she put on a pillow on the couch and stuffed pillows under a blanket to make it appear someone was sleeping on the couch. Did it work? They never had a break-in but I'm not sure if that's the reason. Still. . .

10. And then there's the fake dog bark. It was set to go off whenever the doorbell rang. And just for good measure, it "barked" occassionally for no reason at all. Just be sure it sounds like a really BIG dog.

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