Unfortunately, there is no way to guarantee your home will be safe from burglary while it is being fumigated. With the increasing necessity for fumigation, particularly in areas prone to pests, homeowners are often concerned about a less-discussed risk: fumigation burglaries. A house under a tent is an unmistakable sign that the residents are away, making it a potential burglar target. Hence, taking comprehensive measures to protect your property during this vulnerable period is paramount.
What is a Tent Fumigation?
What Is a Tent fumigation? "fumigation" is a specialized pest control process designed to treat severe infestations within structures, particularly those that standard treatments cannot effectively address. This method is widely recognized for its efficacy against various pests, most notably termites, beetles, bed bugs, and other resilient pests. Here's a link for an in-depth understanding of tent fumigation.
What is a Fumigation Burglary?
Fumigation is a crucial process homeowners and businesses employ to combat severe pest infestations. Fumigation eradicates pests that other methods might miss by using a potent mixture of chemicals to permeate every nook and cranny of a structure. However, while the tents and tarps draped over a building are a clear sign of pest control measures underway, they can also unintentionally signal an opportunity for criminals. This brings us to the concept of "fumigation burglary."
Definition of Fumigation Burglary
A fumigation burglary is a specific type of criminal activity wherein burglars target properties undergoing fumigation. Recognizing that the property is temporarily uninhabited and under the guise of tents or tarps, these criminals perceive a lowered risk of detection and confrontation.
Why are Fumigated Properties Targeted?
Clear Indication of Absence: The tenting process for fumigation typically requires residents to vacate the premises for several days. This guarantees burglars a window of opportunity without the fear of encountering homeowners.
Reduced Visibility: The tents or tarps used in fumigation obscure the view of the property. This hides the burglars' activities from the outside world and makes it harder for security systems, like cameras, to capture clear footage.
Presumption of Lowered Security: Burglars may assume that security systems are deactivated to avoid false alarms triggered by the fumigation process. This can encourage them to attempt a break-in, believing the chances of getting caught are reduced.
Tips to Prevent Burglary During Tent Fumigation
Securing a property during tent fumigation is paramount. The visible signs of fumigation — such as the tent covering a building — can inadvertently make a home or business more attractive to burglars. Fortunately, with a proactive approach, property owners can significantly reduce the risk of break-ins during this vulnerable period. Here are authoritative tips to bolster security during tent fumigation:
Choose a Reputable Pest Control Company
Begin with the most basic yet crucial step. A reputable fumigation company will ensure that your property is appropriately treated and will be more likely to have procedures to deter burglars, such as security measures and collaboration with local law enforcement.
Check online reviews and testimonials.
Seek recommendations from friends and neighbors.
Ensure that the company is licensed and insured.
Do Not Broadcast Your Fumigation Plans
While mentioning your fumigation plans on social media or in casual conversations with acquaintances might be tempting, refrain from doing so. The fewer people who know, the better.
Only inform close family members and trustworthy neighbors.
Avoid posting pictures or updates about your fumigation on social platforms.
Use Security System Signage
If you have a home security system, prominently display the signs and window decals. Even if you don't, consider placing a few security system signs around your property. The mere presence of these can deter potential burglars.
Place signs at every entrance and in visible areas.
If using fake signs, ensure they look authentic.
Inform Local Law Enforcement
Many police departments offer a 'vacation watch' or 'house watch' service where officers check your property periodically. Informing them about the fumigation will make them more vigilant about suspicious activity near your home.
Visit your local police station or call the non-emergency number.
Provide them with the fumigation dates and any other relevant information.
Secure All Entry Points
Ensure all windows, doors, and other access points are locked and secured. If you have sliding doors, place a rod or bar in the track to prevent them from being opened from the outside.
Conduct a thorough check of all entry points before leaving.
Use deadbolts on doors where possible.
Notify Trusted Neighbors
A vigilant neighbor can be your best asset. Inform a neighbor you trust about the fumigation so they can watch for any suspicious or unusual activity.
Provide them with a contact number in case of emergencies.
Request them to collect any mail or packages arriving during the fumigation.
Use Timers for Lights and Electronics
Giving the illusion that people are at home can be a deterrent. Use timers to switch lights, radios, or TVs on and off at different intervals.
Set up timers in different rooms.
Vary the on/off times to mimic human activity.
Take valuables such as jewelry, important documents, and electronics with you, or store them in a safe deposit box.
Conduct an inventory of your valuable items.
Store them securely off-site or in a hidden safe.
Monitor with Security Cameras
If you have security cameras, ensure they are operational and recording. Modern security systems even allow you to monitor your home remotely via smartphones.
Test cameras before leaving.
Set up notifications for motion-triggered events.
Avoid Leaving Spare Keys Outside
Burglars often know the familiar places where spare keys are hidden. Ensure all spare keys are collected and stored securely.
While the necessity for fumigation can be stressful in itself, the added worry about potential burglaries can be alleviated with proper precautions. By following the tips and steps outlined above, homeowners can ensure greater security for their property during the fumigation process. Preparation is vital, and a proactive approach will always serve you well. Stay safe, and protect your home!