5 Signs That Tell A Burglar You're Out of Town

5 Signs That Tell A Burglar You're Out of Town

Travel companies are estimating Thanksgiving travel will hit an all-time high this year with 30.6 million air passengers, and the chances are you're one of them.

With the holidays upon us, homes will be left empty for days or weeks at a time, putting them at risk of being broken into. You may not have Kevin McCallister to help keep an eye on things, but you have something even better: Notion.

Below are five signs that tell burglars you’re out of town and how you can remedy the situation before you leave.

  • Newspapers piling up on your porch

  • Even if you’re strictly a digital subscriber, this can apply to mail and those freebies they toss on your lawn.

    The fix:

    Pause your mail and all newspapers (both services are free), and pay a neighbor kid $10 to recycle any random ones that might appear.


  • Sidewalks and driveways are unshoveled
  • If only away for a long weekend, you’ll probably know if a snowstorm is headed to town and you can deal with it when you’re back. But, like the mail and newspapers, an unkempt walkway signals to a would-be thief that you’re nowhere to be found. (Plus, the city can fine you in some places.)

    The fix:

    Leave an accessible shovel for the neighbor kid and double his pay if it snows. Don’t trust him to do the job? Professional snow removal companies exist in just about every city in the country. Even in warmer climates, like Dallas.  

    At the very least, tell a neighbor to leave footprints in your yard or on the sidewalks. Any perceived activity is better than none.


  • Social media posts
  • Don’t underestimate thieves’ tech capabilities. If they’re really gunning for your home, they’ll know your name and can track your online behavior. They will find your Facebook statuses about how excited you are to leave and subsequently see your photos on Instagram from a faraway land. They’ll know the coast is clear.

    The fix:

    Double-check that all of your social media is set to private. This can be done rather easily in the Settings page on any platform. Here’s information on how to address privacy concerns for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. If you don't want to deal with that, wait until you're back to post any holiday photos.


  • Opened windows and doors

  • We all forget to close the garage door for a few hours. But if a thief sees it’s been open for more than 24 hours, he’s more likely to get the clue that no one’s home and can swipe more than just a bike.

    The fix:

    Avoid agonizing over whether you’ve closed all doors and windows while on vacation by checking in on things in real-time with Notion.


  • It’s dark

  • It’s smart to conserve energy when you’re away by turning off lights. But a dark house means an empty house several nights in a row.

    The fix:

    Install motion-sensor lights outside the home, and set timers for lights inside the house to periodically turn on. There are a lot of cheap and effective options.

    And, of course, know what's going on while you're away with the help of Notion's sensors so you know when doors and windows have been opened.