Advice Posted on October 15th 2015 By Andy Calloway

Five More Ways to Keep Burglars at Bay This Winter

Nights are getting darker. Burglars will be lurking. There are ways to deter burglars without having to spend a fortune.

Remember, most burglars are opportunists who are after the easy steal. These tips are subtle, but will deter the ‘walk by thief’ and keep your house safe and sound.

Don’t advertise your tech purchases

One way to do this is to conceal the boxes that all your funky new electronics came in. Do not leave them sitting on the curb, or on the lawn waiting for the recycling van to turn up. Cut them up so that they will fit in the bins or recycling tubs. Or drive them to the local recycling center the next time you're headed that way. If you cannot do this, keep them inside or in the car until you can get rid of them.

Keep a tidy garden

Everyone hates to mow the lawn, but it's actually a good deterrent to the burglars. If the grass gets too high, it could be a sign you're away. Mow it before you go away. If you know it'll grow too high before you come back, ask a friend or relative or maybe give a local child some pocket money to do it.

You could maybe set up a neighbourhood group to mow each other’s lawns when away.

Snow is a giveaway

Fewer burglaries happen when there’s snow on the ground, probably because it leaves tracks, but likewise, if it’s snowed when you’re away and the walk up to the house is undisturbed for days, it could advertise you’re not there.

Ask a neighbour to check your post and make some tracks in the snow.

Keep the lights on

If you don't mind a slightly higher than normal electric bill for the month you're away, leave a couple of lights on in areas that can be easily seen from the road. Cover windows and let the light shine. This gives the illusion that someone is at home. Bathroom lights and hallway lights are good for this use, and only one or two are needed to make it look believable.

Even better, use timers to switch lights on and off around the house.

Collect the Mail

If you're going to be away for a long period, you have two options for your mail if it's dropped on your porch or in an unlocked mailbox. The first is to have a trusted neighbour or friend pick up your mail every couple of days (there are days there is no mail, after all), or you can have the post office hold your mail until you're home. Build-up of mail and packages can really tip off a burglar that you're not home. It also may contain sensitive information that could be used to commit identity fraud if the wrong person found the information.

All in all, use common sense

We’ve said before, you can tell an empty house a mile off, so make your house look lived in all the time. Don’t make it easy for burglars!

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