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10 Tips to Scare Away Burglars

Whether you're at home or on vacation, these suggestions will give you more peace of mind

spinner image 10 Tricks to Scare Away Burglars
Tip 6: Keep your mail out of reach.
Nick Ferrari

1. Check the latest tech. There are all sorts of new home security devices, like doorbells that ring on your cellphone (like the Ring Video Doorbell) and inexpensive, easy-to-install surveillance systems, such as the Canary. Get advice at your electronics store or read reviews online.

2. You can't hide. Crooks know all the "secret" places, so forget about hiding your keys around the house. Instead, ask a trusted neighbor or friend who lives nearby to keep a spare set. Or better yet, consider a keyless entryway.

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3. Forget Facebook. Resist posting pictures of your vacation on social media while you're away. Friends may not be the only ones reading.

4. Don't advertise big buys. An empty computer or television carton left on the curb is a flag to crooks. So drive those big boxes to a recycling plant or cut them up.

5. Ask for a reference. Before hiring anyone, get personal recommendations. Even so, don't leave a worker alone in your home, even for a few minutes.

6. Keep your mail out of reach. Identity thieves can find a treasure trove in your mailbox, so consider a locking model. And if you haven't gone paperless, remember to shred important documents before putting them in the trash.

7. Stay well-trimmed. Overgrown shrubbery provides cover for thieves, so make sure that your house is clearly visible from the street. Keep the front of your house well-lit. Guard access to your backyard.

8. Get a virtual pet. Burglars think twice when they hear a barking dog. If you don't have a pet, get a CD of a growling hound. Or put a dog bowl by your door.

9. Call the police. Some departments have crime-prevention officers who will survey homes and offer security recommendations.

10. Know your neighbors. It's the oldest safety system around, but still works like a charm. Ask your neighbors to keep an eye on your home, and do the same for them.

From "99 Great Ways to Make Your Home Healthier and Safer"

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