In December 1979, an article called “Foiling the Household Burglar” offered residents tips for keeping their homes secure, especially during the holiday season. “Turn down the volume of your telephone bell.” Burglars sometimes call a home and don’t hang up, the author explained. When burglars “get to the residence in question, if they can still hear the phone ringing, they know there’s a good chance the residents are away.” Homeowners also were told to “inform your local police station of your absence. Your home will now be given special attention.”
The quaint idea of a home phone ringing endlessly seems a lifetime ago, particularly now that many of us have given up landlines. And we can’t help but giggle at the thought of asking the police to keep an eye on our homes while we’re gone.