According to the FBI, home burglaries are the number one threat to U.S. homeowners; in fact, approximately four homes are burglarized every minute! When it comes to protecting your home and family, you probably know the basics – keep your doors and windows locked, leave lights on when you go out so your home looks occupied, use motion-sensor lights for your yard, and of course, install a home security system. But here are seven, lesser-known tips to keep your house from attracting burglars:
- After purchasing an expensive television, computer, or other electronic device, don’t put the box outside with your trash can for pickup. This alerts a burglar that you have new goods in your home that would be worth stealing.
- Open your window coverings, then take a walk around your home. If you have expensive electronics, heirloom furniture, or other valuable items within plain sight, consider rearranging furniture to give your home less “curb appeal” to thieves.
- Sliding glass doors are a susceptible target for burglars. A simple way to add protection to this entrance is by placing a thick wooden or metal dowel inside the door’s track. Even if a thief breaks the door lock, they won’t be able to slide the door open.
- Keep the area around your home open and clear. You may have heard not to plant shrubs in front of windows, but trees with low-hanging branches, and foliage or décor which obscures the front door all serve as inviting hiding places for a burglar.
- July and August are prime times for home burglaries, as people leave for summer vacations. Burglars are turning to social media to find people who are on vacation, and with little effort, determining where they live. Keep your social media privacy settings on, and more importantly, NEVER post about vacation plans or share when you are out of town. This includes reminding your children to not post about an upcoming family trip on their social media accounts.
- You might always have someone pick up mail and/or newspapers while you are away, but there are other signs that a home is unoccupied! Have your friend check your front door for advertisements or delivery notes as well, and if you are planning to be gone for a week or more, ask them, or hire someone, to mow your front lawn. Overgrown grass can also be a sign that your home is unoccupied.
- Your garage is the best place for your car whether you are home or away, but if you can’t have it locked up, ask a friend to move it a couple of times (change the side of the driveway, back it in, etc.) so it looks like it has been in use.
Recently, an Oregon news station sent questionnaires to 86 people incarcerated for burglary, asking them specific questions about how they choose a target and carry out their crime, and the answers revealed some compelling insights. Check out the full article here.
Over two million home burglaries occur in the United States every year, but every extra precaution you can take will make your home less of a target!