What a potential burglar sees…
Is your house an easy target for burglars? Read on to see if you’re sending out all the wrong signals.
- Your lights operate on timers: Most folks think that having timed lights will deter burglars from paying a visit. But what they don’t realize is that the predictability of automatic lights actually signals that you’re probably not home that often… Think about installing motion-detecting lights on the outside that would draw neighbor’s attention – and scare thieves – should they go on.
- You constantly share your vacation status online: We understand that family and friends want to keep up with your latest adventure. And we also get that making others just slightly envious of your vacation time is quite tempting. But consider saving the posts until after you’ve returned home. A quick look at your profile could tell potential robbers scoping out your home that you’re currently off to Europe or even out on the town for the evening. This is one of the main reasons celebrity homes are robbed…so beware!
- You’re not friends with your neighbors: You are busy with work, kids, and all sorts of other activities, so sometimes you simply don’t have the time to get to know your neighbors. We’re not saying you have to befriend everyone on the block, but knowing your next-door neighbor or the family across the street is ideal if you want an extra set of eyes on your home. So invite a neighbor on over for a cup of coffee…it could be the most worthwhile chat you ever have.
- You don’t have a fence: …or the one you have doesn’t offer you enough privacy. A privacy fence that is at least 8-feet tall is ideal. Also, consider adding decorative trellis to the top which would make it more difficult for a burglar to grip and climb over.
- Your landscaping could use a trim: We know that you don’t always have the time to trim those hedges, but overgrown landscaping actually provides potential robbers the perfect place to hide while scoping out or breaking into your home. Get out those clippers and make every corner of your lawn more visible.
- You don’t have a dog: Pets are a very personal choice, and you and your family should decide what kind of animal, if any, works for you. But know that a home with a dog is considerably less likely to be broken into. German Shepherds and Bullmastiffs top the list of dogs that deter burglars almost every time.
- Your schedule is predictable: Many thieves actually study the home or the family they are going to rob for weeks, even months, before committing the act. So your 9-5 work schedule, your regular weekends at the lake, or your favorite evening class at the gym are duly noted by those who are watching. Throw them off by automatic lights that turn on at different times each day, so there is no pattern. Also consider leaving a television on during the day or having a second car parked in the driveway while you’re out.
- Your car speaks volumes about you: What do your bumper stickers say? Could they give a clue to burglars about possessions, like firearms or a boat, that you might have at home? Also, is your car a new luxury vehicle? Keep it safe in the garage for the moment so that burglars don’t associate the luxury car with more luxury goods inside.
- You have no alarm system: If you’ve got a camera system at your front door or a sign indicating you have a security alarm, burglars are seriously going to think twice before stepping foot on your property. Bonus points come from getting insurance discounts for being so prudent!
- Your doors and windows need an update: Is your door made from cheap material? Are your windows old and in need of repair? You are showing potential robbers how easy it would be to get inside your home. Updating these points of entry will keep you safe and probably help lower your heating bill come winter.
- Your mailbox is full all the time: We know that a lot of the “important stuff” gets sent out via email these days, but you still need to remove mail regularly from your mailbox. If it’s left to sit too long, this signals that you are either gone or you’re just negligent – burglars favorite characteristics when robbing a house.
- You still don’t lock your doors: Gone are the days when we could just leave the backdoor open for family or friends. Even if you live in a good neighborhood, leaving a door unlocked is creating an opportunity for the wrong kind of person to easily enter, regardless of the time of day.
- Those boxes from your online orders are on full display: Did Amazon just deliver a bunch of goodies to your place? Have you left the boxes to new electronics, like a big-screen TV or a laptop, out on the curb for the garbage truck? Well, congratulations, you’ve just alerted the neighborhood – and potential bad guys – to the array of things they can take when they break into your home.
Do All You Can
Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason as to why a house is broken into. But doing all you can to prevent a break-in will give you an added sense of peace of mind. Also, it lets us insurers know how serious you are and allows us to find the best discounts for your homeowners policy! A win-win situation!