You may be asking for a break-in without even knowing it. Here are a few less than obvious ways that you may be putting your home at risk.
Lack of Visibility
- You don’t have adequate outdoor lighting installed at your home. Trespassers love the dark. Don’t let them get comfortable.
- Overgrown landscaping. If your bushes are the best hide and seek spot in the neighborhood, consider a trimmer.
- Poorly lit basement stairs. Install a few extra light bulbs in the basement to avoid a real life scary movie situation entirely.
- Your home address is not easily readable. A well-marked address can mean the difference between the police showing up just in time to catch a fleeing burglar or having to take an extra trip around the block to find your house.
- You don’t have a security camera system installed. Security cameras offer the dual benefit of seeing and simultaneously being seen; you can see issues early and alert the authorities quickly if they arise, but often would be infiltrators think twice when they realize they are under surveillance.
Easy Entry Points
- Front door doesn’t have a deadbolt. No, the spinning lock switch on your doorknob will not stop a crow bar or well-placed kick.
- Unlocked windows, gates and storage sheds. Ok, these are obvious, but without a doubt some of the easiest to forget about.
- In-window air conditioners. Window units are all too often just as easy to remove as they are to install. Check for extra safety precautions when purchasing and installing these units, and consider permanent wall installation on your ground floors.
- Your patio door does not have a strong metal rod placed in the track for reinforcement. Sliding glass doors are often one of the first places criminals look to gain access to your home. If they aren’t reinforced they are easy to lift off of their tracks and remove.
- You did not reinforce your French doors with top and bottom deadbolts or a security bar. Only having one end of your doors reinforced may give them just enough wiggle room to break free.
You’re a Vacationing Victim
- You let newspapers and mail pile up when you are away. If you are going on an extended vacation make arrangements with your newspaper to stop delivery or have neighbors pick them up for you.
- Deliveries are left on the porch, patio or other location outside your home. Have trusted neighbors collect your things for you while you are gone. This also ensures that these items aren’t tampered with.
- Empty garbage cans are left on the street for days at a time. As with your mail and newspaper, if you can’t bring your trashcans back in before you leave ask a trusted neighbor to do it for you.
- You announce on social media that you are on vacation. You never know who is watching your feed waiting for the prime opportunity to strike. It is wise to limit announcements that you are out of town and post pictures from your vacations after you make it back home safely.
- Not having your interior or exterior lights set on a timer to go on when you are not home. Simulating activity in and around your home while you’re gone can be a major deterrent for burglars.
Sending Infiltrator Invites
- You leave valuables in plain view. Ensure that your big screen TV isn’t in plain sight by closing your blinds when you leave you house.
- Boxes of big ticket items are in your outdoor trash bin. Trashcans at Christmas time are like storefront display windows for criminals. Turn boxes for valuable items inside out before you send them to the curb.
- Your home address is programmed into your car’s GPS. In the event that your vehicle is stolen, the last thing you want is to give a criminal directions to the rest of your valuables.
- You leave a garage door opener in your car in plain sight. You wouldn’t leave your house keys sitting out in your car, so why would you leave out the key to the biggest door in your home?
- You don’t have a home surveillance sign in your yard, or in your windows. As mentioned in the “Lack of Visibility” section, a great deal of the power in a home surveillance system comes from just letting criminals know that you have one. Don’t be shy in letting the world know that they are being watched on your property.