As you may know, we recently had a little scare in our household. Someone attempted to break in through one of our bedroom windows while I was home. After he saw me inside, the would be thief left, fortunately.
The police came out to investigate multiple times and even dusted for fingerprints. In each instance we were very glad to have had a great interaction with all of the officers and each of them offered us a crash course in home safety. We had many in-depth disscussions about how to prevent this from happening again and how to stay safe.
One of the biggest things that stuck with us that the officers said is that a for sale sign could make your house a target for thieves.
We were surprised to learn this but apparently because a lot of homes for sale are vacant, so thieves will try to break into the home and take what’s left. They also strip the copper piping from the home.
In a very large percentage of these break ins, they scope the house, then call a buddy to come help and they are in and out in a couple of minutes and do not want any confrontation or and have no intent to be violent. This is what they believed happened in our case. Since our house has a for sale sign in the yard, the “scout” parked across the street to check out our house. In the end, he was the guy I caught trying to climb in our window. They believe he had a friend down the street who would have pulled into the driveway as soon as he gave the signal.
Knowing this now, we are implementing their tips as well as others we learned online about how to keep your home safe especially when it’s for sale. I thought they were important enough to share:
- Never open the door if you are not 100% comfortable
- Make your presence known – either yell from inside saying you are not interested, play music or make some noise
- Keep windows and doors locked at all times even if it’s a nice day
- Keep windows clean as dirt and dust on window and windowpane/sill act as a glove for fingers and make it impossible to pull fingerprints
- Have alarms on doors and windows and have them on even when home
- Do not have items under windows which could help an intruder gain access; such as (like we had) a large container for birdfeed, air conditioner units, heck the officereven said a neighbor a couple of streets over has a ladder on the side of his house leading right up to a second floor window
We also learned a couple of interesting tidbits from our Facebook friends:
- Buy a large dog food bowl and write “Killer” on it leave it by the door
- Buy the biggest pair of men’s boots you can find, dirty them up and leave them by the back door
- We make sure to park a car closer to the street, so it is a little more obvious that someone is home.
- Buying pepper gel (which works better than pepper spray, more accurate, no blow back) being sure to mount it to the wall out of the reach of kids
- Being more aware that because our house is for sale we are more of a target
- Buying a killer watch dog and and naming her Yoshi which is both the name of the cute little dragon in Super Mario Bros. and it also means good luck in Japanese.
I hope all of these tips help and that you stay safe no matter what you do.
What about you? How do you keep your home and online life safe?