Creating a beautiful and welcoming oasis for you, your family, and friends is an essential goal of home ownership. While you want to make your home inviting for guests and loved ones, the last people you want to attract to your house are burglars. Fortunately, it is possible to take a look around your home to assess whether it is sending out unwanted signals to those looking for an easy target.
12. A Full Mailbox
An overflowing mailbox alerts potential burglars to the fact that you are out of town. It telegraphs that your home is empty and ripe for the picking. Before heading out on vacation, be sure to contact the post office to have them hold your mail. It only takes a few moments to log in and give your address, the dates you will be out of town, and whether you will pick up the accumulated mail or would like it delivered upon your return. Furthermore, asking a trusted neighbor to remove any flyers from your door can prevent thieves from realizing you are away.
11. An Unkempt Lawn
For some of us, it is not unusual to have an unkempt lawn. However, if you are usually adept at keeping your grass cut, bushes trimmed, and leaves swept, don’t let these chores go undone if you go out of town. There’s nothing like tall grass in a normally neatly manicured lawn to telegraph the news that the homeowner is away. Hire a neighborhood teen or swap yard duties with a neighbor when each of you goes out of town. Keeping up your home’s usual appearance can help to deter unwanted intruders.
10. An Unlocked Door
The simplest way to keep unwanted guest out of your home is to lock your doors. Yet, many Americans neglect this obvious deterrent to intruders. According to SafeHome, burglaries occur every 20 seconds in the United States. However, only 54-81% of Americans keep their doors locked. It only takes a second for you to flip the door lock. A moment is all that is required for you to turn the key in your lock. Yet, that moment may be just what it takes to safeguard your belongings if a burglar tests your doorknob.
9. Garage Door Remote in Your Car
Your garage door opener allows you to zoom into your garage without ever exiting your car. However, if the remote gets into the wrong hands, it will be just as easy for a thief to zoom into your garage unhindered. Worse yet, if you don’t lock the door leading from the garage into your home, a burglar now has access to your entire house. Don’t keep your remote on the highly visible sun visor of your car. Instead, carry it with you when you are out and about and bring it into your house when you park in the driveway.
8. Glass Doors
Glass doors look beautiful and are wonderful for letting in sunlight. However, they also give potential burglars an unobstructed view into your home. If you have glass panels on your front door, check to make sure those ringing your bell do not have a view of valuables or your alarm system. Sliding glass doors can be made more secure by placing a blocking bar along the track at the bottom of the door. This prevents a thief from opening door if he breaks the lock. Add a shatterproof film to your sliding glass doors to make them more difficult to break.
7. Keys That Aren’t Well Hidden
The first place a burglar will look for your spare key is under the welcome mat. Potted plants, door frames, and rocks are other obvious hiding spots for house keys. When it comes to protecting your home, family, and valuables, you will want to get creative. The Family Handyman offers suggestions for unusual spots to hide keys, cash, or other valuables. The dryer vent hood and an unoccupied birdhouse are two suggestions for clever places to stash your extra key.
Keeping a ladder propped up against your home or out in plain view may seem like an open invitation to a burglar. Don’t make it easy for an intruder to scale the walls of your house. Store your ladders in the garage, and make sure to clear them from your yard each night when working on painting projects or repairs. The same goes for tidying your yard after hosting a gathering. Remove tall stools and items that can be used to give a thief a boost up to the second level of your home.
5. Open Views into Your Home
Giving potential burglars a clear view into your home may entice them to pay you a visit. Enjoy the view and extra sunshine your windows provide, but pull the shades when a room is not in use. Keeping your blinds partially open can help you enjoy the sunlight while restricting outside views of your appliances and electronics. Leaving the shades open and a light on when you go out of town gives thieves a clear, all-night view of the interior of your home.
4. Open Windows and Doggy Doors
Fresh air is a welcome balm, and giving your home an airing can be delightful. However, an open window may look like a wide-open door to an intruder. Make sure to close and lock windows before heading to bed at night. This is especially important for easily reachable first-floor windows. Doggy doors can also be entrance points for slender or highly committed burglars. Commandex advises making entrances for your pets through the wall rather than through a door. This prevents burglars from reaching through the opening to unlatch the door. A security alarm can also help deter pet-door intruders.
3. Packaging by the Trash Bins
You may be excited about your new big-screen television. A thief will be excited too, if he notices the box sitting next to your recycling bin. After making a new purchase, beware of signaling your new treasure to passersby. Take the time to break down boxes into small pieces and prepare them for the recycling bin with their labels facing inward. A box cutter can be an inexpensive investment that saves you untold aggravation and heartache.
2. Vacation Pics on Social Media
In this social media-obsessed culture, it may be difficult to imagine vacationing without posting pictures of palm trees and your toes in the sand as it happens. However, the same pictures that assure your mom you’re doing well and turn your friends green with envy can alert crooks that your house is standing empty. To protect your home against break-ins, skip posting on social media while on vacation. Instead, relax, enjoy the fun, and post a recap when you get home.
1. Window Air Conditioning Units
Unfortunately, window air conditioners are all too easy for a crook to push in. This grants the scoundrel easy access to your home and your belongings. If you utilize a window AC unit, you can secure the unit with an air conditioner support bracket or an AC window lock to prevent it from being easily removed. An alarm may also help to deter burglars from entering your home by this route. Remove the AC unit from your window during the winter months, or when it is not needed.