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Trick a Burglar Like a Brit with 30 Top Home Invasion Hacks

Do you like to have the house spic and span clean before leaving on vacation? Maybe you should leave some dirty dishes out instead. Have you considered donating that old box TV and your junk jewelry? It might be worth reconsidering and staging your home with your old junk as a deterrent, like thief repellant. These are just a few of the top home invasion trickster hacks that may be from across the pond but a break in is a break in is a break in, are we right? And while here in the US we no longer have milkmen in most places (anywhere?), you could be like some Brits and ask your favorite mailman to swing by and have a fake conversation with you through the front door.

We thought these very clever and humorous suggestions were not only a great read but something completely applicable for our American clientele. Quite a few of these genius but simple suggestions derived from a British research survey of more than 2,000 home owners involve interacting with and developing friendly relations with your neighbors, so break out your famous cookie recipe before your next vacation, go make-nice, and reward your next-door's for hatching your burglar trickery plan with you (and offer to do the same for them.) The following is from the UK publication, The Sun.

Brit holidaymakers’ favorite hacks to trick house raiders into believing they are still at home

Researchers also found other savvy holidaymakers allow neighbors to park on their driveway.

Leaving dirty dishes in the kitchen and posting social media updates hinting the house is occupied are amongst the most common home security hacks adopted by Brits.

Researchers also found other savvy holidaymakers allow neighbours to park on their driveway, and put the recycling out for them on bin day.

Other tactics include putting paperwork which has personal information on out of sight, and hiding smaller, easy-to-steal items such as jewelry.

It also emerged the more creative among us even go as far as to set timers which play dog-barking sounds at specific times in the empty house.

The revelations emerged following a detailed study of 2,000 homeowners by Yale.

A spokesperson for Yale, which commissioned the study via, said: “When you’re away from your home enjoying your holiday, there’s nothing worse than worrying about whether it’s secure.

“Burglars tend to target homes that look vacant and appear to have a lack of home security in place, so a simple and easy way to protect your home is to use visual deterrents. These include installing a high-quality alarm or CCTV system, and making sure your locks are Kitemarked to a suitable standard to protect your home. Another big concern for holiday makers is the niggling feeling of whether you’ve locked your front door whilst you’re away. The introduction of smart door locks means that you can check this remotely using an app. There’s also the opportunity to send friends, family or neighbours a temporary pin code or mobile key, granting them short-term access to your property while you’re away so they can check everything is just as you left it.”

It also emerged a sensible 53 per cent leave lights on timers while one in 20 have music playing in the background.

Four in 10 offer loved ones the opportunity to stay in their house while they go away on holiday.

And a further one in 10 go as far as informing members of the local Neighbourhood Watch scheme of their intentions to leave the house for a few days.

Leaving a load of washing on the line in the back garden, installing heavy duty window locks and cutting the grass so it doesn’t look uncared for also featured highly on the list.

Other methods include leaving curtains open so it looks like someone is home, and hiding the kitchen calendar from view of a window so people can’t see when you’re away.

Friends, neighbors and family are all relied upon in the event of a holiday, as homeowners will ask others to pop in to take the post away from the door mat, and open and close blinds at regular intervals.

The study found 63 per cent of us actively try to dissuade burglars from entering their property when away, and nine in 10 make every effort possible to ensure their home is safe and secure.

Two thirds admitted they do worry about the safety of their property when they’re not at home.

And more than half run through checks such as the security of the window locks, making sure everything is unplugged, and ensuring relatives have the appropriate contact details.

Sadly, one in 10 of those polled have been burgled while away from home, with the most common stolen items including jewelry, the television and laptops.

Asking the milkman to have pretend conversations with you on the doorstep was the most bizarre method.

Researchers also found the average adult will leave their home alone for an average of 15 nights during the average year, and an additional three long days every month.

The spokeswoman for Yale added: “It’s also important to remember when you finally arrive at your holiday destination, to resist the urge to ‘check in’ on social media as this can be very risky.

“The modern-day burglar is very shrewd and will more than likely be stalking social media accounts to see who’s away, and checking in online could mean you’re their first target. We advise checking your security settings before posting or simply waiting until you get home to post those holiday snaps.”


1. Leave lights on a timer 2. Make sure keys are away from the front door and aren’t labelled 3. Ask the neighbors to put the bins out 4. Adding window locks to your windows 5. Getting someone to pop in the take the post away from the letterbox / door mat 6. Getting a friend/family member to pop round and open and close the blinds at various intervals 7. Leave a hall light on 8. Hide smaller, easy to carry, items such as jewelry and vinyl 9. Cut the grass before you leave so that it doesn’t look like a meadow by the time you get back 10. Hide any paperwork with name and address on 11. Close all the curtains downstairs so no-one can see in 12. Leaving all curtains open so it looks like someone is home 13. Have someone feed your cat / dog so they are a presence in the house 14. Getting a neighbor to park on the drive 15. Cancel all newspapers 16. Leave some dirty dishes on the side so it looks like the kitchen is being used 17. Even if you’re not travelling abroad, you take passports and driving license away with you 18. Inform the local Neighborhood Watch Scheme that you’re going on holiday 19. Improve natural surveillance at the front of your property i.e. trim high hedges 20. Leave some music on in the background

What are your most clever anti-burglar tricks?


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