10 Tricks to Make Burglars Think Someone is Home

Burglary is a terrible threat to your property and your peace of mind. Sure, expensive alarm systems or neighborhood security can help to protect your home and your family, but those luxuries are expensive and only available in certain neighborhoods. That doesn’t mean you can’t protect yourself with some common sense techniques that can fool a would-be burglar into choosing another victim. Here are 10 tricks to make burglars think someone is home:

  1. Leave a light on: This may seem a bit obvious, but a strategically placed light may be the easiest and most common sense way to keep burglars out. A small and energy efficient light that illuminates an area near a window or a commonly occupied room works best to deter would-be burglars.
  2. Buy a TV simulating lamp: Yes, such a thing exists. The lamps are inexpensive, available at most electronics stores and simulate the glow given off by an HD television almost exactly. For the price of a DVD you can create the illusion of a person watching TV in your house even when you’re across the country.
  3. Pick up the newspaper: Keeping your lawn free of papers is a great way to simulate being home. A burglar will notice papers strewn on the front lawn and consider it an invitation to help themselves to your property. Paying a friend or neighbor to pick up your newspapers when you’re on vacation could save you a serious headache.
  4. Keep a dog dish in plain sight: Burglars and dogs don’t get along. Keeping a dog dish in plain sight can make a burglar think that his nemesis is on guard, and you can rest assured that burglars don’t want to tangle with guard dogs. Just be sure to keep the dish in an area where passers-by can plainly see it and you’ve got yourself a cheap burglar deterrent, even if you don’t own a dog.
  5. Keep the lawn maintained: Allowing bushes to become overgrown or the grass to grow tall while you’re out of town is an easy tip off for burglars. It’s worth the extra money to keep the lawn maintained as if you were home tending to it yourself. Plenty of lawn services will tend to whatever your yard needs whether or not you are there to supervise, and when it comes to preventing burglary they are worth the money.
  6. Use motion sensing lights: A burglar thrives in the darkness, so why not take that element away from them by using motion sensing lights? You can find them at most home improvement stores and they are reasonably priced. When a burglar tries to sneak around your yard and is suddenly blinded by a motion sensing light, he’s likely to try another house or maybe even abandon his plan altogether.
  7. Keep blinds open: This may seem counterintuitive, but when you’re home do you always keep the blinds and shutters shut tight? Probably not, and it’s important to replicate how the house would look when you’re home to make burglars think you really are there. Keeping the blinds open is a great way to show burglars that you are not afraid and that they shouldn’t even think about trying to rob your home.
  8. Hide garbage cans: When you’re home, you generate trash, and you usually keep that trash out of sight. A burglar who sees empty garbage cans may realize that you’re not home generating trash, and he may take advantage of your absence by robbing you blind.
  9. Keep a vehicle in front of the home: It’s a great idea to ask a friend to park and regularly move a vehicle in plain sight around your home. For those burglars who choose to “case” potential targets, a vehicle that is regularly moving is a sure sign that either someone is still home or someone is watching the house.
  10. Don’t tell the world you’re leaving: You can tell a few close friends or neighbors, but don’t advertise to the world that you’re leaving town. If you do, none of these techniques are likely to make much of a difference. Be discrete about who you notify and keep a low profile. That alone should help prevent a burglar from learning your secret.

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