Blog Stories 6 Tech Tips to Fool Burglars (Into Thinking You’re Home)...

6 Tech Tips to Fool Burglars (Into Thinking You’re Home)…

By Chad Meier, January 1, 2020

Whether it’s the eight hours a day or eight days spent on a dreamy beach, allowing your biggest investment to fend for itself can be a stressful proposition. It’s a legit concern too, because when your home looks empty, break-ins can happen. Ugh! Of course, you could deter burglars by never leaving your house again. Or you could do the next best thing, and just make it look like someone is there all the time.

Here’s how…

#1 Light Up a Room (From the Road).

Your parents may still rely on their lighting timer — on at 8 p.m., off at 7 a.m. That old-fashioned option still works, but apps are more fun. They not only turn your lights on and off, but can do so randomly for a more realistic effect. And you can decide to flip on your porch light while sipping a mojito in Fiji.

#2 Fake a Netflix Binge.

Nothing says “we are definitely home” like the colorful glare of a television dancing in the window. Put the little FakeTV gizmo where it can project light onto a curtain, and that’s exactly what your home will say to passersby. The device (which runs between about $20 and $40 depending on size) plugs into an adapter and can either work on a timer or with a light sensor, so it can switch on when it gets dark.

#3 Change Up Your Shades Remotely

Leave your window shades down while you’re gone and you might as well put out a “Gone Fishing” sign. Check out wireless options to throw some shade on the go. Several companies have systems (including Hunter Douglas, PowerView, Pella, Lutron and others) that allow shades to go up and down at your command for about $300 to $500 a window.

#4 Make Some Noise.

Burglars can change plans in a hurry at the first sound of life inside a home — they’re a bit tetchy that way. So one option when you’re just gone for the day is a noise app, like Sleep And Noise Sounds that can play on a homebound phone, tablet, or computer. With noises like vacuuming and a boiling kettle, it can deter a thief who cracks open a window.

#5 Make Them Ring And Run.

“Burglars will often ring your doorbell, and if no one answers, they’ll go around back and kick in the door,” says Deputy Michael Favata with the Monroe County Sheriff’s office in New York. Now you can answer the door with the Ring Video Doorbell ($180 for the basic model). If someone pushes the doorbell, you can talk to them through an app on your phone. Whether it’s your nosey neighbor or a sketchy stranger, you can say, “I’m in the basement” while you’re really on the slopes. They’ll never know. And even if they don’t believe you, they know they’re being watched (insert devilish laugh here).

#6 And when all else fails, don’t forget these “No-Tech” techniques!

Not everything requires a gadget. Here are ways to up your home security without downloading a single app:
• Hire a house sitter. Then someone will be home.
• If there’s snow, have a neighbor walk up and down the path to your door, shovel a passage up to the garage door and drive in and out of the driveway. If it’s hot out, ask them to keep your plants looking fresh with regular waterings. And don’t forget to bring them a nice gift from your getaway.
• Ask friends, family, or neighbors to just be present on your property — use your patio, play in your yard, or bring in the mail.
• Invite a neighbor to keep a car parked in your driveway. During the holidays, they may be happy if they need overflow for visitors.
• Install a fake security camera for as low as $8. Burglars may not notice these fakes don’t have all the wiring necessary to be real. And their blinking red lights offer reasonable doubt.
• Get a dog. While you’re at work or running errands, nothing deters bad guys and gals like a barking, slobbery security guard. And when you go away, having a pet sitter stay can be as economical as some boarding facilities (especially if you have multiple dogs), and you’ll get the benefit of a human and canine sentinel.

*Data source: Houselogic, https://www.houselogic.com/finances-taxes/home-insurance/burglary-prevention-tips/?site_ref=mosaic

Chad Meier

Broker

Hello, I’m Chad: Licensed Real Estate Broker, native Oregonian, photography aficionado, lover of old houses, friend to all animals, and powered by analytical data. As a member of the National, Oregon and Portland Metropolitan Associations of Realtors, I'm proud that my profession allows me to use the tools I've acquired over the past 20+ years (client advocacy, sales & marketing, conflict resolution, et al.) to help people on a daily basis. Bottom line… I love the work! Through personal experience, I understand that buying or selling a home is more than just a business transaction; In fact, it can often be a life changing event! This is why I’m dedicated to providing exceptional service for my clients when it’s time for them to make their move. On the listing side; I believe that every home, no matter how modest or grand, deserves to make the best possible first impression on a would-be buyer. This is why I’m aligned with our area's preeminent independent real estate brokerage (Living Room Realty) to offer every property the most compelling & relevant marketing available. It also means that I’ll never represent your home online with a smartphone picture ;^) On the buying side; I personally work with every client - no handing you off to a junior team member of a team - to ensure that we work toward your goals together and don’t fall prey to some of the pitfalls that buyers can face in today's heavily weighted market. In short, I can help you win! Above all else, I pledge to be a strong advocate for my client’s interests and promise to work relentlessly to help them achieve their real estate goals. After all, I believe that if you’re not left with an amazing experience, I haven’t done my job. Speaking personally, I’ve been connected to this great city and its surrounding areas since childhood. Most recently, my family (wife Shawn, son Jakob, mother Glenna, and mutts Juno & Dizzy) have lived in the vibrant Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood for the past 14 years. When not at my desk or in the field helping clients, you’ll likely find me trying to capture a compelling scene behind my camera lens, playing basketball wherever I can find a pickup game, or combining these two passions by photographing my son’s high school basketball team in action (GO WARRIORS!). And on occasion, you may even find me at any number of our city's finer dining establishments, searching high and low for a bartender who knows the recipe for a perfect Roman Holiday ;^) Whether you have a plan to buy or sell (or simply need to develop one), please feel free to contact me. I look forward to understanding your goals and helping you achieve them! I can be reached at 503-709-9600 -or- Chad@PortlandHomeBase.com
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  • T: 503-709-9600
  • F: 503-961-8224
  • thechad@livingroomre.com

Chad Meier

Broker


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