Home security services provide a welcome sense of relief for many homeowners. I know that if I plan to go away for certain period of time, there is little need to worry: if someone does break in, they will almost certainly set off the alarm and the police will be there soon.
However, your security system will not help you if someone outside the family knows the security code. This was recently made clear to neighbors of mine. The family (we’ll call them the Mitchells) went to Europe on a trip for four weeks, but their youngest son saw this as an opportunity to impress some girls at his job. This teen (we’ll call him Max) decided to give the family home code to these girls and told them to go ahead and use the house for a hangout.
I’m not sure how Max thought this would be a good idea. Well, clearly he didn’t think at all. Suffice to say it was not. The girls moved in and turned this expensive home into a party hangout. The Mitchells had asked friends a few streets over to occasionally check on the place, but these people had been busy and forgot for the first two weeks. By the time two of these friends stopped by, it was too late: the girls and their partners had been sleeping in the Mitchells’ bed, things were broken, there was food and spilled liquor on the upholstery, and cigar butts littered the floors.
The friends called the police and the teens were evicted, but the Mitchells’ privacy had been invaded to a terrible degree. Needless to say, Max was in big trouble and is grounded for the rest of the year.
So, learn from the Mitchells’ mistake: if you doubt whether your children can be trusted with the house code when you are not around, change it before you depart.