Published October 26, 2011
Halloween is just around the corner, which means soon the streets will be filled with costumed kids looking for treats, and teenagers looking to deal out a few tricks. If you’d like to spare your home the wrath of teenage pranksters this Halloween, or just keep your property vandal-free all year long, follow these important to tips. And if preventative measures aren’t enough to keep you from getting hit, we have a few clean-up tips, too.
Fortify Your Mailbox
It’s a simple equation: a car traveling at 25 mph + baseball bat + mail box = tons of fun. Unless it’s your mailbox, that is. If you want to safeguard yourself from this high-velocity prank, consider the World’s Toughest Mailbox. This reinforced steel can will spare you the indignity of plucking errant scraps of junk mail from between fence posts and beneath shrubs. And just think of the bone-rattling thwack would-be vandals will get when they try to knock over your mailbox. Sometimes justice is pure poetry.
Few acts of vandalism are as destructive or expensive to mend as graffiti. But Sherwin-Williams line of graffiti-proof paint promises to thwart taggers looking to make their mark on your home. This miracle substance contains siloxane, which creates a non-stick surface that spray paint can’t adhere to. Wannabe Picassos will curse in frustration as they watch their creations streak down like expressionist abstractions. The next morning, you wash off the residue with a hose.
A Cold Shower
A motion-activated light system is one of the most basic elements of a good home defense. But sometimes a security light isn’t enough to deter a determined vandal. If you really want to scare kids straight, get the Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler ($90). Normally used to keep unwanted animals from attacking your garden, the Scarecrow Sprinkler is the perfect tool to give invading hoodlums a cold shower. And in the trick-or-treating offseason, you can repurpose it to keep nosey neighbors and unwanted relatives from visiting.
the Logitech Alert 700e security camera ($279) will allow you to hand out candy to the kiddies while keeping an eye out for tricksters sneaking around back. This night vision-equipped camera enables you to live stream security footage to your Android or iOS smartphone so that you can quickly respond to toilet-paper wielding hooligans.
Want a more mobile surveillance option? Get your very own unmanned aerial drone. The Parrot AR.Drone ($299) is a helicopter-mounted camera that you control with your smartphone. Silently swoop in on teenage troublemakers and get the drop on them before they even have a chance to set foot on your property.
A shock-and-awe of splattered yolk dripping down windows and doors, the egging is one of the most time-consuming Halloween pranks to clean up. An egg’s chemistry makes it a particularly nefarious projectile — first the water content provides maximum splatter, and then the proteins dry and harden into a glue-like substance. Hot water, usually the best way to clean a tough stain, only serves to cook the egg onto the wall, making it all-the-more impossible to remove. If you do end up getting egged, despite your preventative measures, there is hope. Reach for a high-alkaline cleaner, like Formula 409, which will help loosen the stain without causing the eggs to coagulate. Soak the egg stains with the detergent and warm, but not hot, water, and then gently scrub it off.