11 Things That Make Your Home an Easy Target for Burglars

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You might think you are taking every precaution to protect your home and make it as burglar-proof as possible, but guess what? There are things about your home than transform it into a beacon for thieves. And it’s not only about the things that burglars steal, but the risk your family is put at, as a break-in can cause quite an emotional havoc.

With summer just around the corner and people leaving on all sorts of holidays, security experts recommend upping your game in terms of home security measures. That being said, here are 11 things about your home that turn it into an easy target for burglars and some tips on how to make sure intruders stay off your property.

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Photo by Lucky Business on Shutterstock

These things attract burglars like flies!

A dark home

Many things happen under the cover of darkness. Illicit things in particular. Thieves rely on darkness to hide their illegalities so a dark home is just what they need for that.

To make sure intruders steer clear of your property, keep porch lights on and install motion-detector lights around your house. This will prevent them from trying to find a way in, like an open window. For extra safety, security experts also recommend timers on interior lamps to trick potential burglars into thinking someone is inside.

Check this out: 12 Reasons Why Having a Big House Is Too Much of A Hassle

An empty driveway

A vacant home is an open invitation to thieves. But do you know what else spells “Open”? An empty driveway. When there are no cars parked on the driveway, it means there are no people inside the house. In other words, it’s stealing season.

“In addition to security cues like alarm systems, burglars look for what’s referred to as ‘occupancy cues,’ giveaways that tell them whether you’re home,” warns security and intelligence professional K. Campbell, principal at Blue Glacier Security & Intelligence LLC. “If you go away for even a few days, such as for a long weekend, your home might lack occupancy cues.”

To avoid such situations, ask a family member, neighbor or friend to park their vehicles in your driveway when you’re away, especially if you’ll be missing for a longer period of time.

Unlocked windows and open drapes

Once you’ve picked their interest, burglars will start trying to find ways to get inside your house. Firstly, they will check for the easiest ways in, namely unlocked windows. Therefore, make a habit of closing and locking all windows on the ground floor, whether because you’re going to bed or leaving your home. Second floor windows should also be checked, as they can also be reached by intruders.

Another thing you should do for extra protection is to close the drapes. This way, burglars will not be able to take a peak and discover any expensive objects you might have on display.

Overgrown lawn and landscape

A place that seems neglected may be an indication that its inhabitants are not spending that much time there. This means that burglars will have no problem finding the right time to sneak inside for a “shopping” spree.

An overgrown lawn and neglected landscaping work like a charm to signal thieves that they’ve found just the place to ransack. Not to mention untrimmed bushes can even help burglars when breaking your home, by hiding them.

To prevent an unwanted break-in, make sure your plants are properly maintained and trimmed so as not to cover your windows. More that that, mow your lawn and ask for help in this sense when you’re away. “To keep burglars away while you’re on vacation, hire help for lawn maintenance,” suggests Gabriele.

Sharing too much on social media

We live in the era of technology, and social media is a big part of our lives. We keep track of our family and friends via Facebook or Instagram, and let others know details about our lives as well.

However, it wouldn’t hurt to keep certain details to yourself. Even more so, when disclosing the fact that you’re on holiday can bring more trouble than likes. Therefore, refrain yourself from oversharing your travel plans and whereabout on social media, no matter how much fun you might be having. You may tell your family and trusted neighbors about you leaving on holiday, so they can keep an eye on your property. The less people know about it the better.

Newspapers and packages

If you intend to be away from home for longer, ask a neighbor or friend to take care of your newspapers and packages. This means not leaving them unattended. Parcels and newspapers should be picked up daily, otherwise, the pile stacking at your front door will be a clear sign that you’re not at home. And guess who is waiting to pay your home a nocturnal visit in your absence!

An open or unlocked garage

An unlocked garage is a sure way for a burglar to reach the rest of your home. Not to mention that most people keep a lot of things stored in their garages, so even if the burglars do not manage to enter your house, they will still find some items to steal.

Security experts advise locking the garage door whenever you leave your home, but also when you’re not away. Moreover, disable the automatic garage door openers to avoid being opened by intruders.

Unlocked storage spaces

People keep many items in their storage sheds, from ladders to hammers, wires, pry bars and many more other tools that guess what? Could easily be used by burglars to break into your home. Basically, by giving them free access to a host of tools, you are making their jobs a lot easier.

To prevent intruders from finding useful tools that enable their break-in, secure your tools after you’ve finished your work with them and lock your storage sheds and similar buildings.

See also:10 Home Improvement Projects That Are Not Worth It And What To Do Instead

A “hidden” spare key

Hiding a spare key somewhere around your home, usually the entrance, is a common practice. Be it under the rug, inside a planter, behind a mailbox, it is an easy way to stash your key so that you can have easy access to your home. But it’s not a safe way because burglars usually search for spare keys in such places and they will also have access to your property.

Security experts recommend ditching this practice and leaving an extra key to a trusted neighbor, for emergency situations. Another option would be to have someone install a keypad lock.

Expensive items on display

If you want to change your old TV for an Ultra HD smart TV, be careful where you leave the new TV’s box. In other words, do not put it on display for everyone to see it. You might think it’s just a box, but if an expensive item was in it, you can be sure it will attract potential thieves like flies. Why make your home a target for break-ins?

Instead of leaving boxes of expensive purchases on the curb, cut them up and throw them in the waste container. This way, you keep your valuable items hidden from prying eyes and do not attract the attention of any burglars in search of their next victim.

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Photo by Audio und werbung on Shutterstock

No home security whatsoever

Home security systems do not come cheap, which is why, many homeowners might not afford them. But the investment is quite worthwhile as it can save you a lot of trouble, financial, legal and emotional-wise.

In the absence of a security system, home security specialists recommend having small security signs or security decals strategically placed around your home to scare off possible intruders. Fake security cameras or signs with “beware of dog” might also do the trick. However, the best protection comes from a home security system, so, maybe it would be a good idea to save some money and invest in one.