There are plenty of things that you can do to protect your valuables should a burglar gain access to your home. Keeping your crucial documents and essential items in a safe can offer peace of mind, but another key form of protection is prevention. The more you can do to ensure that your home doesn’t advertise itself to burglars, the more likely you are to enjoy security and peace of mind.
Understanding why a burglar might target your home means thinking from the perspective of a criminal. Fortunately, there’s plenty of evidence out there to offer insights into why common thieves choose certain properties over others. Here are just some of the reasons why your home might appear inviting to criminals — and what you can do about it.
1. You’re Providing an Open Invitation
This might seem obvious, but any open windows at ground level, unlocked doors, or open garages could easily encourage a break-in. Most burglars are opportunists, and it’s crucial that you don’t make life easy for them. If you’re leaving your home unattended, even for just a moment to pop to your next-door neighbor’s house, make sure that you lock up before you leave.
2. No Dog
Obviously, you shouldn’t invest in a furry friend just for the purpose of security, but burglars cite dogs as a factor that can make them abandon a planned burglary. Big, loud, and often imposing pooches can send thieves running and ensure that your home stays untouched. A “beware of the dog” sign — even if you don’t have one — could be a great way to protect your home.
3. Plenty of Hiding Spaces
Burglars are often sneaky, sly people. That means that they’ll be looking for opportunities to skulk secretly around your property. Any sort of high vegetation, including shrubbery and trees, will make you more appealing to thieves. Heavy, overgrown foliage, combined with high fences that stop neighbors from peering over and checking in on you, may make your home feel more private — but they also encourage burglars, too.
4. Signs of Wealth
While you might feel proud of your expensive car in the driveway, the more signs of wealth you leave around your home, the more your property becomes a worthwhile target to a burglar. Don’t leave clues to the potential treasures in your property lying around. For instance, don’t leave the box for your new computer outside of your home for all to see. At the same time, don’t leave cash in full view of windows. Even toys and playground equipment in your yard can be enough to entice a thief — because children typically means the presence of a mother, which means there’s likely jewelry for the taking. That’s straight from the mouth of a burglar.
5. It Seems Like No One’s Home
It’s important that you always give the impression that someone’s home. Thieves will frequently monitor homes to ensure that they can strike as soon as the home is empty. If you’re heading out of town, put your lights on timers, ask someone to come over and collect your mail, and try keeping a car parked in the driveway, too. Even having someone come over to mow your lawn could be helpful, if you have friends who owe you a favor.
6. Your Home Looks ‘Easy’
While you might hope to make your home appealing to buyers and neighbors, you want to make it as unappealing to criminals as possible. Signs like an overgrown lawn which might suggest absence and a lack of visible home security systems can look like dollar signs to the eyes of burglars. Installing a home security system can be a huge deterrent for thieves. In fact, one study found that 60% of burglars would look elsewhere if they noticed an alarm on their target house.
7. You’ve Left ‘Easy Pickings’
Don’t assume that your items are safe just because you’ve left them in a garage or shed. If a criminal can spot that you’ve got something expensive hidden away in your shed, they’ll be more likely to try and grab it for themselves. Garages and sheds are often easy pickings, because they come with minimal security. Avoid advertising anything that burglars might be able to get their hands on without much work.
8. Your Home Isn’t Well-Lit
Many burglars prefer to operate in the middle of the day when home occupants are at work. However, for those who prefer to act under the cover of darkness, good lighting can be a major turn-off. Outside lights or motion-sensitive lighting can drive off would-be burglars afraid of being seen.
Protect Your Home
Defending your home against burglars isn’t always an easy process. However, if you know some of the reasons why a criminal might target your home, you could begin to reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Use the guide above to make sure that your property doesn’t become part of yet another crime statistic.