June 30, 2016 | Morgan Wigden
Summer is a care-free time: School’s out, the weather’s nice and vacations are planned. But that easy-going attitude can leave your house vulnerable, especially if you’re leaving it unattended while you’re kicking back at the beach. You know the standard tricks—stop the mail, have a trusted neighbor on the lookout—but you don’t have to stop there. 

Go for a smart home:  A smart home set-up allows you to control lights, appliances, thermostat and security systems from your smartphone. So with the tap of a button you can turn the lights on and off from anywhere. Products differ, but simple starter kits are often available starting at around $100.  

Fake your TV:  Rather than leave your TV on, fake it, and utilize a product that mimics the light made from a real HDTV, including mimicking scene changes, fades and on-screen motion. These small devices start at around $20. 

Install fake security cameras:  A security camera can be a strong deterrent, but it is expensive. Fake ones, however, are quite cheap—they sell for as little as $10. 

Get a sophisticated light timer:  Plugging your lights into a timer is the age-old burglar deterrent, which means that determined burglars are wise to this trick. So make sure your timer either turns the lights on and off at random, or allows you to program separate times for each day of the week.  

Activate a barking dog:  Although a little more expensive, several products mimic the sound of a barking dog as someone approaches the home. Attached to a motion sensor, the “dog” will start barking if someone is near the home and get louder and more persistent as the person gets closer.


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