Before burglarizing a house, most thieves do a little homework to decide how easy the job will be and how big the payoff. Are you unwittingly making yourself an attractive target for home intruders? Make sure you aren’t showing these signs that your house is worth robbing:
1. Predictable schedules.
Most burglaries occur during the day because most people can be assumed to not be home. If everyone leaves your house at the same time every day and stays away until evening, it makes your house a more inviting mark for those with bad intentions. To scramble the signal a bit, use lights on a random timer to make it look like your home is occupied.
2. Alarms not in use.
Can your alarm box be seen from the front door or a window? Burglars will peek inside to see whether you have it set. If you are having an alarm installed, have the box put somewhere it can’t be easily seen. And, always turn on your alarm before leaving the house. The extra minute of hassle can save you thousands of dollars in losses. If you are having trouble with false alarms, contact your alarm company instead of just turning the system off.
3. Boxes from expensive electronics in the trash.
If you’ve purchased some new electronic goodies, think twice before throwing the packaging in an open recycling bin or putting them at the top of your trash. Instead, cut the boxes up and make sure they are low in the can. Alternatively, bring them to a local recycling center so they are not outside your house announcing your new toys. This is especially important to remember around the holidays; crooks know that this is a big time of year for purchases, so, they’ll be on the lookout for new items to steal.
4. Toys on the front lawn.
Burglars will look for houses where there are quality children’s toys like bicycles and expensive playhouses. Expensive toys for the kids mean high end jewelry for mom. Make sure your kids put all their toys away daily to avoid attracting unwanted attention.
5. Open windows.
Do you sometimes leave a window cracked to improve air circulation in your house? Make sure they are always closed before you leave the house and before you go to bed at night. One-third of burglaries do not involve any kind of break-in, and an open window provides easy access to those with bad intentions. Invest in a bathroom or attic fan to improve ventilation safely. If you must leave a window open, choose one that is on the second floor away from porch roofs that can make it easy to gain access. Alternately, install a latch that won’t allow the window to be opened any further than it already is.
Take stock of your home periodically to ensure that you aren’t giving home intruders an open invitation. By assessing your home for the cues that attract burglars, you can protect your family and your possessions.