When fumigating a home, unfortunately the doors and windows have to be left open to release the toxic gas. While this is happening, a thief can easily enter your home and steal your belongings.
Many homeowners have been robbed during this process. The first day the gas is so toxic that it can be deadly, but the second and third day it’s not as horrible.
Some burglars will carry masks, while there’s one report where they entered a house that was being fumigated against termites without any masks on the second and third day, and the break in was recorded by a security camera.
There’s also the risk of the fumigators working with the local burglars. By informing them if there are any valuables left in the house.
Since your home won’t be protected by any physical barriers during the fumigation process, you consider using other anti-theft deterrents and barriers. Here are some methods that are recommended by security experts:
1. Store your valuables in a safe location
Store your jewelry, cash, important documents and easy-to-carry electronic devices in a different location until you can lock the doors and windows.
A safe storage facility, a neighbor’s or a relative’s home or wherever you happen to be staying will be the safer option than your home during fumigation.
If you have a garden shed available, this could be tempting as well. But don’t be deceived that this is the perfect solution. The fact that you won’t be at home to hear any strange noises or see anything can still be exploited.
Upgrading the locks on your shed and getting a security system in place that can send you alerts remotely is probably needed in order to ensure that your shed is well protected. You’ll find my garden shed security guide helpful for making this happen.
You might be tempted to store some of these items in your vehicle. Unless you’ve secured the vehicle with reliable anti-theft devices that can prevent break ins this isn’t the best option.
However, if a vehicle is the only option you have, at least install tinted film on the windows so that your valuables don’t attract any thieves. If you’re storing items in a truck bed of a pick up, use these additional security measures to make them less accessible.
2. Install motion detecting cameras
Security cameras are everywhere nowadays! To be honest, it’s become annoying seeing them on literally every street corner. But no one can deny their effectiveness at deterring crime.
Furthermore, most of the new cameras have motion detection technology. They will send you an alert through the app if they detect any movement in the monitored area.
They also have night vision and high video quality. In combination with recording ability, a few security cameras placed strategically in and/or around your home can act as a powerful deterrent and alert system in case of a break-in. Both during the fumigation process and in general.
There used to be a time when only the powerful banks and large corporations could afford security cameras. But prices have really lowered over the last couple of years thanks to further technological advancements, and now you can get a powerful camera for as little as $50 or even less.
I have the Zmodo outdoor security camera from Amazon in my workplace and I frequently recommend it for homeowners because it’s affordable and easy to use. You can get two Zmodos for less than $70. It has all of the features you need: night vision, motion detection, WiFi connectivity, recording ability (including 1 month free cloud storage) etc.
Place one camera to monitor each side of the house, or focus on the easiest entrance points such as the front door, the garage door, the back door and ground-floor windows. Install the camera a bit higher so that it’s out of reach for the burglars.
In either case, if they approach or try to remove the camera, you’ll receive an alert through the app which will allow you to respond quickly by calling the police.
3. Motion sensor floodlights as a deterrent
Similar to the Zmodo camera, security floodlights are really sensitive snowflakes that get triggered by motion. However, instead of sending a remote alert to your electronic device, floodlights will blast the area with a bright light which can act as a powerful deterrent. After all, burglars typically break in during nighttime to avoid being seen, and floodlights will definitely make them visible to everyone.
However, their usefulness during house fumigation is debatable. Since you won’t be at home, you won’t be there to notice the light switching on. You’ll probably have to rely on neighbors or a passerby to react and for the burglars to feel uneasy about them. You should also install the floodlight higher and out of reach so that it can’t be removed without serious effort.
So it largely depends on your location. If you’re home is fairly isolated, floodlights won’t be of much use. On the other hand, if your neighbors are very close it could be a very simple and affordable deterrent.
4. Don’t forget the air conditioner
A window air conditioner is always vulnerable to theft. It’s accessible from the outside which makes it an even easier target during fumigation since removing it doesn’t require any serious exposure to the gas. If you have a window AC, you may want to get a heavy duty support bracket which will make it harder to remove.
If you want to fully secure it, the best option is a steel cage designed for this purpose. By keeping the unit inside the cage which is mounted to the window, the burglar won’t be able to reach it without cutting through the cage or unbolting it, which is not an easy task.
Directing a security camera with a motion sensor at the unit can also help for deterrence and theft prevention. To learn more about these tips check out my in-depth guide on window AC security.
5. Use security warning signs
Warnings signs can be useful deterrence. Place them around your property so that burglars know you’ve done your homework and stealing your stuff comes with consequences.
Make sure that you place signs that are actually relevant. It doesn’t make much sense to use a “protected by armed property owner” sign or “beware of the dog” if your home is clearly being fumigated.
Instead, use signs such as “24 hour video surveillance”. In combination with real or even dummy cameras this can be very effective. I recommend placing a few dummy cameras and a few real cameras around your house.
Dummy cameras are really easy to install because there’s no wires, so you can easily mount them anywhere. You could place them in more visible spots while you make the real cameras a bit more hidden.
Since dummies so cheap, even if they get wrongly smashed by the burglar it won’t be a big financial loss and will at the same definitely trigger your real camera to send you a quick alert.
6. Hire a security guard (or not)
Hiring a security guard is a good option, but not the cheapest one. The price will depend on the security company you and the number of guards you want. Even one guard monitoring your property 24/7 for 3 days will cost you at least $700.
Keep in mind that the 2nd and 3rd day are the times when break-ins happen most frequently. But they can happen even during the first day if they’re equipped with proper masks and the gas toxicity isn’t too extreme. So to get the maximum benefits of a security guard, make sure he’s there from day one.
Also keep in mind that guards are not allowed to fight, shoot or arrest anyone. They are only allowed to warn the trespasser of their crime and/or call the cops so their main value is as deterrents.
7. Home security system
One of these systems can fully secure every entrance point of your home and even indoor areas.
In my opinion, the best system for home security is ISOTECT 8CH. It contains:
- 6 indoor/outdoor cameras
- crystal clear picture with full 1080 HD quality
- 65 ft high quality night vision
- motion detection
- easy remote view and alerts through WiFi
- 2 TB hard drive
These are not wireless cameras, so you still need to plug them in. This Youtuber owns an Isotect 8CH system and makes videos on how to install the cameras, how to watch videos on a mobile phone and other useful tips.
Having a security system like Isotect is a long-term solution to home security worries. Once you’ve installed these cameras to monitor doors and windows from inside or outside, your house will be way safer than it is at the moment.
8. Contact your neighbors
Ask your neighbors to keep an eye out for strangers lurking around your property while you’re away. If your neighbor is a stay-at-home housewife or an elderly person they could be a really good security asset.
Don’t be shy about asking for help because most people are incredibly receptive when it comes to these types of situations. Just make sure that you’re on good terms and return the favor when you can!
If you’re tenting and fumigating your house soon, take everything of value first. You’ll still definitely have some expensive valuables left which will require further security.
Security cameras, floodlights, warning signs and asking your neighbors to chip in or even hiring security guard can all help prevent break ins or catch those nasty burglars in time.