Home Security - What Do You Do?

Updated on April 03, 2012
M.. asks from Appleton, WI
10 answers

It's that time of the year again that we leave almost every weekend to spend time at our family cottage. What kinds of things do you do to your home to make sure it is secure when you are gone for the weekend without spending a lot of money. We have a timer on some lamps, so that at night it looks like someone is home. Do you keep your window curtains/blinds open or closed? Any tips??

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answers from Columbia on

Leave the blinds closed. You can also put the TV or a radio on a timer. Talk radio, National Geographic or news channels are good for this, since it's mostly talking.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

We have 3 dogs, 2 Cockers and a Toy poodle that bark like crazy if someone steps on the property.

We have a pet sitter come to check on them 2x a day at 4.5 hour intervals and she stays about 45 minutes. $$25 each visit. Then, she returns by 7pm and sleeps over $50 each night leaving whenever she wants in the morning.

She gets the mail, takes care of the trash cans, etc.

We have neighbors with no dogs and when they go out, I usually take their trash can to the curb, etc, and make sure there are no flyers or packages left at their door.

We all have security systems in our homes. We choose not to be monitored because we just dont feel the need and there are so many false alarms. our neighbors know if they hear our system to check it out.

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answers from Washington DC on

Alarm system. It's only about $35 a month - not bad at all!

Last October we went to a battle re-enactment and in the middle I got a call from ADT. Our FRONT DOOR was wide open. Scared the heck out of me because we were 4 hours away. I had the cops sent and called two neighbors who searched the house as well. It seemed that the lock wasn't locked and the door blew open (it was very windy!!). But no amount of lights on timers would have prevented someone from coming in had we not had the alarm system and cops out. We wouldn't have known it was open for 2 full days!

I can't recommend an alarm system enough.

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answers from St. Cloud on

Being in Appleton I wouldn't worry too much. I'm from Eau Claire originally. I like the idea of a timer on your lamps. I'd vary where I leave the blinds each weekend. The bedrooms one I'd leave pretty much shut since that's pretty normal for people to leave the bedroom ones shut. But I'd change up the living room/kitchen blinds. If you get the weekend paper delivered, maybe the neighbors would be nice enough to hide it between the screen door and front door. You could consider installing those outdoor lights that turn on when they detect movement. They're a good idea no matter what day of the week it is.

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answers from St. Louis on

Alarm system! I think it is funny, the lights and all that. Like someone who would rob your house wouldn't know that people do that, ya know?

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answers from Dallas on

I always pay a friend to stop by the house each day and check on the house, the mail, etc.
Curtains closed, because that is what we do when we are gone during the day. One lamp on, the one we normally turn on in the evenings.
I really think having the friend stop by is great if you don't already have an alarm system (we don't and won't ever in this house).
Hope that helps

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answers from Minneapolis on

Before you invest in any security systems, check for REAL statistics about crime rate in your neighborhood. (Media news gets a tad hyperbolic about crime rates, which makes everyone think they're in great danger when they're not.)

The best prevention is to be friends with your neighbors. Tell them that during the summer you'll be gone many weekends. If they see something, let them feel free to call 911. Just like you'd do for them. I don't think you'd have to pay them. Neighbors should look out for each other. Friendly neighbors share favors, chores, and flowers from their yards. :)

Also, if Appleton is small enough town, letting the officer on your local beat know that your address is vacant every weekend will help.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

For a weekend, I don't do anything other than lock up and make sure the blinds are shut. If it's the winter, I'll leave the motion flood light on the front of my house since it gets dark so much earlier. If I am gone for a week or more, I halt the mail, let the neighbors know, and make sure the lawn guy mows while I am gone. I live in a pretty safe area, so I did not keep up with the alarm service that the previous owners of my house had. I do have the sign still up and the alarm will beep when the doors open, but that is it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Your local police department will come (for free!) and do a tour of your house and give you suggestions and info about weak areas, etc.

We just use common sense, lock doors and ground level windows, leave lights on a timer, motion detector light on the porch.

You might want to consider getting a GIANT dog bowl and writing "Tiny" on it with a Sharpie and leaving it outside your door. Thieves HATE dogs!

1 mom found this helpful
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