Don’t remember exactly where this was being discussed, which “alternative” is better, but I do remember it being discussed a lot.
Also remember people talking about light control, making your place look as if it’s already looted, cover windows so that no one sees light coming from inside or hiding the generator for similar reasons.
I don’t know if any of this ever worked for anyone but I seriously doubt it. In my experience, the empty house gets broken into 10x more than the one with people obviously inside.
Same happens during blackout, holidays, etc.
Around here, you do not leave a house unoccupied for more than a few days or a couple of weeks unless you want to come back to a very unpleasant surprise.
It was fairly common after the crisis for people to come back to their homes after extended holydays or spending some time abroad or in the hospital, only to fin the place picked to the bone or even worse, A FAMILY living inside! With a slow working justice system with bigger fish to fry, it takes months, even years to prove that your house is yours and to have them evicted.
Pretending to be looted doesn’t help either, they’ll still go inside to see if anything was left behind or even do so simply trying to look for a place to occupy permanently or just spend a few days. That happened a lot here.
So, it’s always better to show an occupied, busy house, target practicing ( if viable) in the back yard isn’t a bad idea. And as long as you are armed inside and have good locks and doors, it wont be easy getting in, and criminals and looters know that too.
The empty house is always a better target. Don’t think for one second that pretending your house is empty is a safe strategy.