February 7, 2020
1. Don’t announce your plans on social media.
First things first: Don’t share your dinner reservation, movie plans, or anything else that could be used to identify your home as vacant. Sharing this information makes your home an easier target for burglars. More than 60% of burglars know their victims, and even more reason to be mindful of what you post on social media.
2. Wait to post pictures
The temptation to post pictures of the great food, the beautiful restaurant, and the romantic scenery can be great, but resist it until after the date. Just like announcing your plans, the pictures will show that you’re not currently at home. Special Valentine’s Day Tip: Your partner may not be pleased if you’re on your phone, either.
3. Lock doors and windows
Avoiding social media does not guarantee that your home is safe. It may seem simple, but make sure that you’ve locked all the doors and windows, including those upstairs. Most burglars enter through the front door (34%), followed by a first-floor window (23%), and back door (22%). If you have a home security system already, consider upgrading or adding door and window sensors to your current system.
4. Light up your home
A great, easy way to deter burglars is by making it appear that your home is occupied. That begins by turning the lights on. If your home is equipped with timers or smart light bulbs and wireless light controls, sync them with your normal routine.
5. Put your valuables away
Don’t leave electronics, bank statements, or jewelry on counters, tables, or nightstands. Put these items in a drawer or—even better—a safe. When possible, position large electronics, like TVs and stereos, so they are hidden when looking through your windows.
6. Limit cash on hand
Valentine’s Day is a busy and often chaotic evening. You could lose your wallet or purse, or even be the victim of a pickpocket! Protect yourself by limiting the amount of cash you bring, along with other items.
7. Keep valuables in front
Okay, you had to bring the purse to complete your outfit. That’s fine, just remember to always keep it in front of you at all times. Always zip it fully closed if you can. Guys: the same goes for you. Put your wallet in your front pocket. It’s easier for someone to grab it without you noticing if it’s your back pocket.
8. Walk in well-lit, trafficked areas
It’s undoubtedly romantic to end your date on a walk where it’s just you, your partner, and silence. We see it in movies all the time. However, it also leaves you vulnerable to a waiting burglar. We’re not suggesting you head to a crowded shopping mall; just make sure others around who could help.
9. Ask a trusted person to take care of your home.
If one night out on the town isn’t enough and you’ve planned a romantic getaway, ask someone you trust—like a neighbor—to look after your home. Instruct them to pick up the mail/packages, shovel the snow, water the plants, or anything else to make it appear that you’re still there. We recommend rewarding them afterward for their efforts.
10. Turn off the oven, put out the candles and fires.
If crowds are not your cup of tea and you have a lovely night-in planned, be careful. Don’t leave anything on—oven, lit candles, etc.—when you leave the room or go to bed for the night. Just to be extra safe, make sure that your smoke and heat sensor is properly functioning.