APRIL 22, 2021
In the classic ’90s movie “Home Alone,” two bumbling criminals try to break into a house they mistakenly assume is vacant. Most burglars aren’t sitting outside a home in a suspicious-looking van or posing as law enforcement to get the family vacation dates. But one takeaway from the movie: remain aware of your surroundings.
Wondering how to tell if a burglar is watching your house and how to prevent burglars from breaking and entering? Here are a few signs someone may be casing your home and a few practical precautions you can take:
Plenty of cars may come and go in your neighborhood, whether it’s your neighbor’s air-conditioning repair guy or your lawn care service. If, however, you notice a strange vehicle parked near your home or that of your neighbor’s, it could be an indicator someone is casing your house. When you begin to see a pattern with a particular vehicle on your street that doesn’t belong to your neighbors, consider calling the non-emergency police line to report it.
A jogger going through your neighborhood in the morning or a mom strolling a small child at lunchtime aren’t anything new, especially during a pandemic, but what about the woman that slowly walks down the street taking a hard look at each home she passes? While the architecture of your neighborhood may genuinely pique her interest, she also may be casing a house looking for an easy target. Also, beware of fake solicitors trying to sell goods or services and those pretending there’s an emergency and need cash. May burglars say they first knock on doors throughout the day to see whether anyone is home.
There are plenty of ways to make your home less of an easy target. Staying vigilant and being able to identify unusual patterns or suspicious behaviors will reduce your home’s risk of burglary.
Get to know your neighbors
Introduce yourself and swap numbers with your neighbors, even if you’ve never been on friendly terms. That way, if you know you’ll be gone for an extended period, you can alert your neighbors to keep an eye on your home. Offer to return the favor when your neighbors need help.
Get a video doorbell
Whether you’re home alone or not home at all, a video doorbell allows you to respond from anywhere. Answering via doorbell means you’re not giving a potential burglar a sneak peek if you’re in your house. If you’re away on vacation, you can still answer the doorbell and give the illusion you’re inside.
Snap a picture
You may see the same teenager walking aimlessly around your neighborhood and occasionally taking photos of a home. Burglars often snap photos of potential targets. Get a good look at the suspect, or discreetly snap a photo so you’re on the lookout later if an incident occurs. Don’t want to risk pulling out your smartphone and taking a picture? Write down a physical description along with any notable features, or note the make, model, and license plate of a car and the times you see it in your area.
Collect mail and newspapers
Nothing points to an empty home more than a stack of newspapers in your driveway, an overflowing mailbox, or a stack of packages. Put a stop on any deliveries, or have a trusted friend or neighbor collect your Amazon packages until you return.
Don’t announce your departure
It’s tempting to post photos of your beautiful beach vacation on your social media pages. Even if you keep your Facebook and Instagram accounts private, it’s best just to wait until you return home to share your photos and videos.
Invest in a security system
A home security system is an excellent way to deter burglars. Home security yard signs and window stickers, motion-sensing lights, and outdoor cameras all indicate the presence of a professionally monitored security system.
Contact a Brinks Home™ Senior Security Consultant to learn more about how a home security system can give you peace of mind and keep your home and family safe.
Allison Clark is a senior writer for Brinks Home. She enjoys educating others on the benefits of smart home security and using technology to simplify everyday life.
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