“Home Alone” is an all-time classic holiday movie. Young Kevin McCallister cleverly outsmarts two house burglars in a hilarious Christmas comedy. In addition to the slapstick laughs, Kevin employs non-traditional security measures to protect his house against the would-be burglars. While we don’t recommend icing your doorsteps and swinging paint cans from the top of your stairs, there are some lessons to be learned about proper home security.
Here is a list of the 10 security lessons you CAN learn from “Home Alone”:
1. Don’t tell strangers when you’re going away — or how long you’ll be gone
That includes protecting yourselves on social media, too. Thieves can quickly harvest data about who is absent in any given neighborhood and try to exploit this knowledge (just as Joe Pesci’s character does).
2. If you have any doubts about someone’s credentials, ask for ID and don’t let that person in your house until it’s provided
Avoid sharing your travel plans and home security secrets with that unverified person. That’s something the McCallisters failed to do right at the movie’s start.
3. Put indoor lights on timers to give the appearance someone is home
Putting lights to certain rooms in your house on timers will give the appearance that somebody is home. This is a little more realistic than the party Kevin McCallister pretends to throw to make it seem like people are home, complete with dancing mannequins and loud music.
4. Outdoor lighting will make it hard for burglars to sneak around your premises
Christmas lights are just one way to illuminate the yard, as the McCallisters have done. However, for security purposes you’ll want to strategically place lights in the front and back of the property. Insure there are no blind spots thieves can exploit.
5. Burglars are less likely to attempt to break-in if they see you have a security system
Mr. McCallister not only doesn’t install an alarm in his fine house, he tells Joe Pesci he doesn’t have one. Quite an invitation.
6. Watch out for your neighbors’ houses as well
One way to protect yourself is to report strange activity at your neighbors’ houses, just as young Kevin McCallister does. In the process, you might be thwarting thieves who plan to rob you, as well.
7. Internal video surveillance would have shown Kevin was safe while Home Alone
Besides boosting internal security with locks and alarms, and well placed internal surveillance cameras, the McCallister parents could have safely monitored their son the entire time he was home alone.
8. Install window sensors so you don’t need to put ornaments on the floor
A set of window sensors connected to a security solution that can trigger an alarm is, shall we say, a bit more reliable. The thief (unlike the bumbling Daniel Stern in the movie) will probably be wearing boots as he enters the window.
9. The security alarm will scare people away better than the scene from “Angels with Dirty Faces”
While the famous line “Merry Christmas ya filthy animal” is enough to scare away burglars and even the pizza man in the movie, a security alarm is a better bet to scare away criminals.
10. Hot door knobs usually indicate it’s a good idea to go away
Although this wasn’t enough to keep the thieves out in Home Alone, a hot door knob could mean a fire is on the other side and it’s time to get out. A fire alarm would let you know even better.