Your doors and windows are locked, and the exterior lights are on. There’s no way a burglar would target your house, right? Not so fast. While these are easy ways to make it harder for an intruder to enter your home, professional thieves are picking up on various other tell-tale signs that your house is the ideal mark.
The FBI reported an estimated 2.1 million burglaries in 2010, and burglary accounted for roughly one out of every four property crimes. Perhaps the most startling fact is that of these burglaries, a third of them involved unlawful entry (meaning the suspect entered the residence without force). This means that simply looking the doors and windows is not enough to thwart would-be thieves. In order to to give you peace of mind, we’ve compiled this list of things burglars look for when they’re casing a house, and what you can do to make sure you aren’t a victim.
You Are Your Own Worst Enemy
As ridiculous as it sounds, the most common point of entry for burglars is the front door. Installing high-quality locks and deadbolts on your doors makes it much harder for thieves to just waltz into your home. Also, make sure never to leave a spare key outside the entry of your home. It doesn’t matter how clever you think you are, the pros know where to look; and you might as well have left out some cookies and milk for those rummaging through your house.
Thieves will often case a house for a few days to try and understand where your valuable items may be in your home. Leaving expensive items such as your new 52” plasma sitting in plain view from a window is a big no-no, and will allow burglars to plan exactly how they will get it out of your house. There are even guides for making a “fake TV” that leads thieves to believe that someone is actually home watching TV if you are gone for an extended period of time. When protecting other valuables such as jewelry, don’t just leave it lying around anywhere. Make sure to leave rarely-used pieces in a safe or safety deposit box, and get creative hiding the things you use more often. Thieves know where most people keep their important items, and they can probably guess where you keep yours.
Make It Hard on Them
Burglars love to see overgrown hedges and trees near a mark’s front door or windows. These can provide thieves with the cover they need while trying to break in. Even if you already have outdoor lighting around your doors and windows, consider installing motion-sensing lights. Nothing will scare a thief off faster than being suddenly caught in a spotlight.
Installing a security system and ensuring that you have posted signs around your home can be the difference between thieves targeting your house or moving on to an easier mark. Homes without a security system are about 3 times more likely to be broken into than those that have one. Even if a thief disregards posted security signs, a security system can help reduce the losses you do suffer. In many cases, the alarm could cause the thief to grab the first thing they see and get out before the cops show up.
Make Sure There is Activity around Your House
Most burglars are interested in a place when it is clear that no one is home. If you are going on a trip, make sure that you have a neighbor coming by to pick up your paper. A pile of newspapers in the driveway or an overflowing mailbox is an immediate sign that no one is home. Going a step further and installing timers on inside lights can give the impression that someone is always home. Also, make sure to keep the vacation pictures off of social media networks until you return home. By posting your whereabouts on the Internet, you are telling everyone, including thieves, that you are not home.
Experiencing a break-in can cause more damage than just lost property. The psychological damage of knowing that someone gained entry to where you live can be much worse, especially if you have a family. Burglars already know what makes a house a target, and now you can take steps to reduce that risk.
Call SafeT Systems today and let us show you how to better protect your home and belongings!
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