7 Ways to simulate presence in your home and prevent robberies

One very effective way to prevent robberies in your home when you are away is by simulating your presence. As statistics show, burglaries rarely occur in occupied homes. Therefore, if it appears that we are living in our home, it will be difficult for thieves to target us.

The 7 best ways to simulate presence in your home are:

  1. Interior and exterior lighting.
  2. Discretion when leaving the house for a few days.
  3. Movement of blinds.
  4. Keeping plants alive.
  5. Emptying the mailbox of letters.
  6. Maintaining the outward appearance of occupancy.
  7. Having a doormat.

Now, let’s explore these 7 simple ways to make it seem like you’re occupying your home when you’re actually away:


1. Random interior and exterior lighting in your home

An obvious sign that someone is inside a home is the presence of light. We can easily achieve this even when we’re not at home by using programmable plugs. In the following link, we show you a very affordable and versatile smart plug. With it, you can connect a lamp and program when and for how long it should turn on. If you want to go the extra mile in simulating your presence, you could even connect music or the television, although that’s not necessary for our purpose since interior lighting is sufficient.

These types of plugs can also connect to your home’s Wi-Fi network, allowing you to have full control over the power of the plug at any time and from anywhere. This means that you can not only pre-program them but also control them remotely.

Moreover, if you live in a townhouse or a detached house with a small garden or private entrance, you can install exterior lights with programmable on/off settings. Alternatively, you can opt for solar-powered LED lights with a small solar panel and battery, which keep the lights on throughout the day. You can find these solar lights at affordable prices in large garden centers or lighting stores. For example, in this link, you can see how to acquire a pack of these outdoor solar lights at a very reasonable price.


2. Discretion when leaving the house for a few days

As it is logical, the first step to prevent anyone from thinking that your house is empty is to be careful and not tell anyone you trust that you will be away for a while on vacation, work, or for any other reason. For this reason, it is important to be cautious about broadcasting through social media that you are going on vacation for “X days.” Anyone can come across this information.

Furthermore, when packing your bags and taking them to your car, try to do it in your private parking area. If you have to park on the street, do it in the least visible way possible. You must be aware that anyone who sees you carrying your bags to the car will know that you won’t be home for a while. That’s why it’s crucial to be extremely cautious and discreet.


3. Don’t fully close the blinds and adjust them periodically

Fully closing the blinds clearly indicates that nobody is occupying the house. Put yourself in the situation and imagine seeing a house with all the blinds closed in broad daylight. What would you think? It’s obvious that nobody lives there, right? Especially if you see them closed for several consecutive days.

For this reason, it’s important to leave them partially open but never completely closed. Remember this, especially if you’re leaving early in the morning and it’s still dark outside. It’s highly likely that, being nighttime, you might forget and leave them closed.

Lastly, if possible, if you don’t have programmable or remotely controllable blinds, it would be ideal to have someone you trust, such as a family member or a cleaning assistant, who can lower and raise the blinds slightly so that they don’t always appear at the same height. This can be done on a weekly basis; there’s no need to obsessively do it daily if the blinds don’t have programmable or remote control features.


4. Keep your plants alive

If you have a garden or plants in your windows or balcony and you decide to leave for a short period of time, remember to water the plants before you leave and upon your return. But if you’re going away for a long period of time, make sure to arrange for someone you trust to water them on your behalf.

If you can’t or prefer not to have anyone enter your house for privacy reasons, you can always automate the watering process using two systems:

  1. Constant automatic drip irrigation: It is cost-effective and will keep the soil of your plants consistently moist, allowing them to access water at all times.
  2. Programmed irrigation: This option is slightly more expensive, but depending on the type of plants you have, it’s not recommended to keep the soil constantly wet. Therefore, this second option would be more suitable. Easily and intuitively, we can program the irrigation through a touchscreen.

In addition to their vacation use, acquiring one of these two products can be very helpful in our daily lives, especially if we don’t have time to water the plants or frequently forget to do so. It’s very convenient to have a device that takes care of this task for us.


5. Avoid having a mailbox full of letters

When leaving your house, make sure the mailbox is empty so that a large accumulation of letters doesn’t occur in your absence. This is particularly important in apartment buildings, as anyone can access the staircase landing and check everyone’s mail, noticing if someone hasn’t been around for a while due to a mailbox full of letters.

If you’re leaving for a few days, you can simply empty the mailbox before leaving to prevent a significant build-up of letters. However, if you’re going away for a long period of time, it could be a good idea to give a key to a neighbor or a trusted family member who can periodically empty the mailbox for you.

On the other hand, to reduce this problem, an effective way to do so is by reducing the physical mail you receive. Nowadays, this can easily be done online. Simply request each entity or company that sends you correspondence to do so electronically, thus avoiding this problem.

Finally, if you have a second residence where you’re rarely present or where you stay away for extended periods of time and you don’t have anyone who can empty your mailbox, you can always rent a private mailbox. This service means that at a post office, you will have your own rented mailbox where you can receive all your postal correspondence securely and discreetly, without anyone noticing a pile of letters in your mailbox and inferring that you’re not at home.


6. Display activity in the exterior and balcony

If you usually spend time on your balcony or in the exterior of your house and suddenly show no signs of life in that space for a while, it will be quite evident that you’re absent from your home.

Therefore, it may not be a good idea to remove everything from your balcony or garden. Leave something, for example, hanging or an object on the outdoor table (if applicable and available).

This won’t draw anyone’s attention, and most likely, nobody will realize that you’re away, making it seem like you still live there.


7. Keep the doormat in place

If you live in a chalet or individual house, you may be tempted to remove the doormat when you leave. However, this is a clear indication that you’re gone, especially if you always have the doormat at your door and suddenly remove it. In this case, it’s better to leave it in its place.

On the other hand, if you live in an apartment building like most people, you need to remember that the cleaning service usually collects the outdoor doormats while cleaning. If nobody puts them back in place, it’s obvious that no one is home. To avoid this issue, it’s crucial to inform the cleaning service not to remove the doormat or ask a neighbor to put it back in place every time it’s taken away for cleaning. If you can’t delegate this task to anyone, it’s recommended to store your doormat inside your house; otherwise, it will be left standing at your door, and it will be evident to anyone passing by that you’re not at home.



Simulating our presence at home when we’re away is one of the most effective ways to prevent burglaries. We can achieve this by programming internal lights in our house and watering our plants, as well as taking care of other details such as emptying the mailbox before leaving, not fully closing the blinds, keeping our plants alive, being cautious with the doormat, and simulating activity on the balcony.

Furthermore, if we can have the assistance of a trustworthy person to periodically check our home, help with plant watering, empty the mailbox, put the doormat back in place, and adjust the blinds, we will successfully accomplish our goal, and no one will suspect our absence.

However, if we still want to be instantly informed about what’s happening inside our home from anywhere, don’t miss our article on 8 Ways to monitor your home from your mobile phone.