Is Your Home Inviting Thieves?
When you put a lot of effort into your home and work hard to buy nice things, the worst thing that can happen is someone breaking into your home and taking those things from you and causing damage in the process.
Burglary not only causes the obvious financial problems but emotional distress too – particularly as your home is seen as your sanctuary and safe place. When it is broken into, it no longer feels so safe. Furthermore, if prized possessions, family heirlooms and items of sentimental value are stolen, this can cause internal pain.
According to official reports from the FBI, every 15 seconds is burgled. It could be that your house and your routine, seemingly innocent things you do (or don’t do) all the time, could be enticing burglars. According to University of North Carolina’s professor of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Joseph B. Kuhns Ph.D., thieves act on impulse and don’t look too far beyond opportunities presented to them.
It is not just the fact your lights are set to go off and on by a timer or the fact that you have a neighbor that picks up your mail for you; there are various other things that could give the game away that your home is empty and free for thieves to try to break in and steal from you.
You Always Leave Your Trash Barrels Out, Many Days Before It Is Picked Up
If your trash pickup day is Monday and you tend to leave your rubbish out on a Thursday, it indicates to any burglars checking your house out that you are away for the weekend. Even if you are not. It is also a bad idea to leave the boxes for the latest games consoles and flat-screen televisions on your curb, as it makes your home appear to thieves as a much more attractive prospect. This also tells criminals that you probably have disposable income and there may even be other or more expensive items in your home.
Your Garden Has Many Big Bushes and Trees
If the entrance to your home is shielded by big bushes and trees or even that tall fence you got to give you privacy, it could give thieves the necessary cover to work at the locks on your door or force it open. As noted by the NACHI or National Association of Certified Home Inspectors, a significant percentage of thieves take the direct and main approach to a home. 81% break and enter a home on the first floor, with 34% using the front door.
Burglars also use tall bushes to hide in. Therefore, if you have to or want to have these kinds of bushes, choose a type with plenty of thorns. Be wary of overgrown grass as this could also suggest to thieves you are away or that you are not very good at maintaining your home and could have faulty doors or windows.
Your Garage Has Doors With Windows
It goes without saying that if you never shut or lock your garage door, it gives opportunist burglars in the area the chance to access your home very easily. However, if your garage door has windows, this could also be a problem. It was discovered in a survey conducted by NACHI that 80% of home burglars looked in garage door windows to see if there was a car in the garage or not (indicating whether the homeowner was home or not) and 9% successfully entered in this situation via the garage.
So, always ensure that your garage doors are secure, whether you are home or not and avoid having a design that includes windows. Don’t make thieves job easy.
There Are Obvious Signs You Own A Cat
If you have a window or car decal that indicates you have a cat, this could give thieves a way into your home. A burglar will assume that because you have a cat, windows will be open to allow your pet to come and go throughout the day; thus, giving them an entry point to your property.
On the other hand, it is not a good idea to assume that you, your family, property, and possessions are completely safe because you have a big dog as a pet. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the smaller, yappy dogs are better at protecting your home against burglars because they bark a lot, jump around and generally make more noise than their bigger counterparts.
You Have A Personalized Mailbox
Many burglars will phone your home just to see if you or member of your family answers, indicating whether you are home or not. If you have a personalized mailbox, it makes it a lot easier for them to find your listed telephone number quickly without fuss. It is also a good idea to avoid telling strangers that call your home, such as telemarketers (these could be burglars in disguise) when there is a more convenient time to call you. The reason being – it may sound fairly innocuous, but it gives the caller and possible thief insight into your schedule and tells them when you will and won’t be at home.
You Live In A Neighborhood With Lots Of Rental Properties
Neighborhoods with rented properties are far more vulnerable to burglaries because people who rent their properties are usually only interested in themselves; while, homeowners tend to be concerned for the safety of their neighbors and will be more aware of what is happening on their street or area and contact the authorities if they notice anything out of the ordinary.
You Give A Key To Service Workers
Any service workers, whether it is your landscape gardener, pool cleaner, TV repair engineer or maid, can increase the chances of your home being burgled, even if they don’t do it themselves. It could be that they leave your doors open for someone else, deliberately or accidentally; or, they may even make a copy of your key that can be used at a later point in time. Rather than giving service workers their own key, you could organize with a neighbor that they have to pick the key up from them and return it to them when they are finished. This warns any thieves that your house is being watched and not as easy a target as they may have originally thought.
You Always Turn All Your Lights Out At Night
Being extremely energy conscious and efficient could be putting your home at risk of being burgled. Keeping all the lights off at night gives thieves the opportunity to walk around the outside of your home and peer into the windows without being detected and caught. The aforementioned NACHI survey did find that the large percentage of burglaries tend to occur during the daytime when most homeowners are out and about. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take preventative measures against would-be thieves trying to access your property and possessions during the night.
Even when you are at home, it is best to keep at least one light on. Would you rather save a little money on your utility bills or prevent your valuables and possessions being stolen right under your noses?
Another wise step is to install outside lights that are motion activated, as thieves are more likely to run away if they are taken by surprise by lights turning on, rather than continuing to break and enter into your property.
Let’s not beat around the bush, there is always a chance that someone will still try to rob your home and property, even if you follow the above tips. However, as most are opportunist criminals who look for easy prey, they are less likely to try and burgle your home if you make it as difficult for them to do as possible.