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12 Mistakes That Make Your Home a Target For Burglars

Home security starts with decreasing the chances of your home being robbed. Many homes are easy targets for burglaries without the owners even realizing it. Although the opportunity for your home to be a target for burglary is high, simple everyday measures can be taken to increase your home security without even purchasing a security system.

Burglars prefer to target empty residences.

    Target:  Piled up newspapers, mail and flyers, as well as putting your garbage out days in advance or not putting it out at all are all signs of vacancy. Stop the newspapers when you go on vacation and have a neighbor pick up your mail.

    Target: Drapes closed tightly, no noise or lights on, no cars in the drive way. Slightly open drapes, set TVís, radios, and lights on timers. Leave a parked car in your driveway, even if itís the neighbors.

A quick escape is important for a burglar, so high fences or hedges are a real deterrent.

    Target:  Overgrown bushes and trees close to your home allow a burglar to hide and can provide leverage to higher windows. Make sure all scrubs are trimmed back and not covering windows.

    Target:  An unsecured door, such as garage, sliding door, or a patio door, presents an opportunity for a burglar to enter your home. Unlocked garage or shed doors allow thieves to tools to assist in the entering of your home. Install strong dead bolt locks on doors and fixed weak doors and windows.

A dark property is always attractive. 90% of all intruders choose not to enter a residence that is well lit

    Target:  Low wattage bulbs in outdoor lights, no motion sensor lights or lights on a timer, no lights on other outdoor buildings, such as shields or garages, or no outdoor lights at all. Ensure well light areas on and around the home.
    Some robbers donít get the idea to break into your home until you give it to them.

    Target: Members of the Family openly talking about their vacation plans or expensive purchases. Talk to family members about the privacy of family details

Most burglars look for something worth stealing

    Target: Making valuables visible from outside the home, such as having lawn mowers, bikes, and cars in your garage with the door left open, shades and curtains open to view jewelry, electronics,  computers or items you do not see as worth stealing are still valuable to others, even items you do not view as valuable, but others will, like alcohol. Get in the habit of closing blinds at night and keep the garage door closed.

Thieves look for any information to make themselves sound like they know you, to create trust and open your door or worse, tell your children they know you and get information from them.

    Target: Putting your name on the mail box and answering machine, while stating you are not home. Only put your house number on your mailbox and door and say youíre ďunavailable to answer the phoneĒ on the answering machine without stating the name of your residence.

Burglars find out the majority of your personal information in your every garbage. Your trash is another personís treasure.

    Target: Carelessly throwing your garbage away in an accessible area. Shred any important documents, receipts, bills, statements, credit cards, even invitations which could give a date of when you may not be home. Don't throw all the shred pieces away at once or in one place.

Burglars observe your daily behaviors

    Target: Same daily routine. Consistent routines give burglars an estimated amount of time to complete their job, which allows them to be more careful without getting caught. Try not to be too predictable, come home earlier on some days, or leaving for work later on other days.  

    Target: Hiding your spare key in typical places, such as under the door mat, above doorways, or anywhere close to the door, as well as in the same spot regularly in a visible area. Hide your keys in areas that people cannot watch you retrieve it and do not let kids openly show friends where keys are hidden.

Over 40% of home burglaries are termed by police as "no force" entries.

    Target: Leaving home with windows or doors unlocked or even open thinking youíll only be gone temporarily.  You and your family have to practice and remind each other to always, not matter what the circumstances are, to always close and lock all doors and windows when leaving the house unattended.