Make Your House Look Lived-In for Your Pet Sitting Peeps
1. Walk around your house and assess its weaknesses as though you were a burglar.
Do you have:
- Ripped screens?
- Cracked windows?
- Areas of your house that are dark or poorly lit?
- Areas of your yard that are accessible without being seen by neighbors?
- Overgrown shrubs or trees blocking street visibility from entryways?
- A garage door that doesn’t lock?
Remember, burglars will pick the “low hanging fruit” that is, homes that are easy to approach and get into. If you have any of the above, get the areas fixed. Buying screens, glass and motion sensor lights and having them installed is much cheaper than a devastating home break-in. Likewise, trimming those shrubs and trees will not only go a long way in protecting your home, they will protect you and people authorized to access your house, such as your pet sitter.
2. Put radios, lights and televisions on timers.
It’s important to put radios and televisions on separate timers and to make sure the timers you use have a “random” setting. Likewise, have several lights in different parts of the house on “random” set timers. That way, someone casing your house will not be able to determine any set patterns of light activity. This random “activity” while you’re away is an essential to make your house look lived-in.
3. Tell a trusted neighbor about your absence and participate in neighborhood watch programs that post signs.
Having an extra set of eyes on your property is a proven method of criminal deterrence. Fostering good relationships with your neighbors is not only personally satisfying, it can pay off in spades. See about starting a neighborhood watch.
4. Can’t afford a professional security company? Post phony security sticker decals on your windows and doors.
Criminals are lazy. The more roadblocks you can put up in their path, the less likely they’ll choose your house as a target. Posting decals is a cheap and effective deterrent. Find phony security stickers now. This may not make your house look lived-in, but it is a powerful deterrent!
5. Post”Beware of Dogs” Signs
Burglars can deal with a lot of criminal deterrents, but some will not face the unknown danger of dogs protecting a house.
6. Don’t showcase your belongings
If you have a choice of having your pet sitter open and close curtains that look onto a couch and bookcase, or one that looks onto your large screen T.V. and surround-sound system, choose your couch. Likewise, don’t place obviously valuable things in your windows for display.
7. Maintain your yard
Landscaping can be used to your advantage:
- Plant thorny shrubs or flowers around first-floor windows
- Keep shrubs trimmed
- Keep trees trimmed
- Don’t cancel your yard-care person
8. Lock sheds, garages and outbuildings
Burglars don’t always reach second-story windows by James Bond Moves. Likewise, they don’t necessarily have leather tool packs in their breast pockets. They look in your shed and grab your ladder and tools. Don’t let a burglar exploit your carelessness. Keep all areas that contain ladders and tools locked.
9. Inform you pet sitter
Do people have access to your house in your absence or have copies of your keys?
Tell your pet sitter if:
- You have a cleaning service that will be accessing your house.
- You have scheduled maintenance happening during your absence.
- You have a landscaper that will be on the premises.
- You have neighbors or family members with keys.
10. Protect your valuables.
A professional thief knows all the obvious hiding places:
- Cookie Jar
Hide your valuables in unobvious places. Likewise, when purchasing your big ticket items (like flat screens and computers) do not leave the empty boxes at the curb for pick up. Cut them up in small, manageable pieces and place them in non-transparent garbage bags before taking them to your recycling facility or disposing of them.
11. Keep an inventory of the valuables in your home
This is very simple to do and can help find your belongings in the case of a burglary. The police and your insurance company will need a detailed list of your belongings in order to replace or recover stolen items. Photographs are even better, as it takes less time. Be sure to store your list and/or photos in a safe place, such as your safety deposit box.