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The most inventive ways to look in if you’re out

Including dirty dishes and fake social media posts

Yale has just conducted a survey to find out people’s best hacks for making burglars think they’re home when they’re actually away on holiday. It includes, as you might expect, measures like having lights on timers, asking neighbours to park on their drives and cancelling the newspapers but it seems that Brits are a bunch of lateral thinkers so there are a number of ideas on there that you may not have considered before.

These include the following:

  • Leaving a stack of dirty dishes in the sink, visible from outside
  • Fake social media posts that give the impression that you’re home (the antithesis of posting your holiday snaps)
  • Leaving washing out on the line
  • Asking the milkman to have pretend conversations with you on the doorstep (it doesn’t say whether the milkman agreed!)
  • Swapping valuable items for less-than-desirable versions (eg hiding an expensive television and leaving an old model in place)

We think that these ideas are pretty inventive (you can see all the top 30 here) so it inspired us to come up with some of our own. See what you think:

Record typical household sounds so you can play them back on a timer (eg conversations between the family, shouting for the dog to come in, singing in the shower and – for extra realism – maybe an argument or two or shouting at the kids!)

  • Arrange for someone trusted to come and do visible jobs around the house while you’re away such as mow the lawn or trim the hedge
  • If you use a milkman, arrange for a neighbour to swap full bottles for empty ones on the doorstep
  • Put your curtains on timers and attach some ‘people silhouettes’ behind them so it looks like someone is in the room (too Home Alone?!)
  • If you don’t need to take your car, ask a trusted neighbour to keep moving it slightly on the drive so it looks like it’s been coming and going
  • Leave your house in a mess as if it’s already been burgled to make any would-be intruder think it’s not worth bothering!

Anyway, we’d like to know your most creative ideas for making your home look occupied – the more inventive the better! Let us know in the comments below or join in the discussion on Facebook.