5 Signs Your Home is an Easy Target for Burglars
Safety is best described as a habit. When you instinctively look both ways before crossing the street or, without thought, plug in your seatbelt before driving, you’re engaging in the type of repeatable behaviors that increase your safety.
Far too often, though, our habits can lead to unsafe outcomes. Such is the case with your home, where actions you don’t give a second to can declare your home as a potential mark for burglars. To better protect yourself and your family, it’s essential to recognize what these behaviors may be. Here we offer a guide of five common behaviors or actions that leave your home vulnerable to burglary.
You Have a Social Media Presence
Close to 80% of Americans have a profile on a social media or networking site. These platforms have opened the world up, letting us form personal connections with everyone from our favorite celebrities to that guy in elementary school who moved away before middle school and whose name you can’t quite remember.
Yet, as we are frequently made aware, social media isn’t always as private as we’d like it to be. When you post photos from your family vacation while you’re on your family vacation, it makes it easy to realize that you aren’t home. Of course, an obviously vacant home is often greeted with a smashed window or jimmied lock.
The danger of social media is more than just what’s overtly posted. Metadata, such as location details, are often embedded in each post. This means even if you make no mention of your current location, your social media presence could be giving away exactly where you are.
It’s also easy to think that you can protect yourself by turning your profile to private or only giving access to friends and friends of friends. However, 65% of all violent home invasions involve a perpetrator who is known to the victim. So, no matter who has access to your social media feed, there is likely someone who can use that information to their advantage.
Your Yard and Porch Have Seen Better Days
No one likes doing yard work. However, if you knew that an unkempt yard or porch could lead to a break-in, you’d likely be a little more inspired to start weeding. A yard that’s seen better days can be a sign to burglars that no one is home. This means that overgrown bushes, tall grass, or patchworks of dirt do more than drive down the value of your property. Each of these increases the odds of a robber noticing your home and casing it.
Furthermore, an overgrown yawn can make it easier for someone to break into your home. Burglars like to operate in the shadows to remain unseen by potential witnesses. A yard with overgrown bushes or grasses makes it easier for burglars to hide while they see if anyone’s home and make the decision to break-in. Large objects in your yard, such as trees that need trimming, can also obstruct the view of your neighbors or passers-by who may be able to prevent a break-in just through their viewing angle.
If your home is left empty due to a vacation or business trip, you should also make plans for your mail to be held or for a trusted neighbor to check your mailbox and porch every day. Otherwise, as mail, packages, and flyers begin to pile up, you’re increasing the odds of someone realizing you’re not home.
Your Lighting Is Off – Literally and Figuratively
Proper lighting is among the most essential home security tips. The objective of using lights as security is to make it seem that someone is home. Of course, burglars have grown accustomed to homeowners’ various tricks to make it seem as if the home isn’t empty.
A lack of lighting can make your home a mark because it allows the burglar to operate in darkness. With no outdoor light in a dark home, a robber can gain entry, take what they need, and leave without anyone noticing. This can remain true even if you are home and awake.
However, keeping lights on all day and night long doesn’t fix the problem. An outdoor light that remains untouched, either on or off, also gives the impression that there’s no inside to operate the light switch. Even an indoor light left on all night can be an indication you’re not home, as most people don’t sleep with a light on.
Yet, a light that goes on and off at the exact same time every day can also give the impression that a timer, not a human, is running the lights. This means your lights should be run by combining motion sensors and smart home technology that can turn the lights on and off at random times throughout the day.
You Avoid Locking Your Doors and Windows
Burglars and robbers will always take the easiest approach to a break-in. They do this because they want to avoid loud noises and keep their escape plan simple. So, despite how often broken windows and smashed locks are associated with break-ins, it’s actually unlocked doors and windows that give burglars the clearest entry point to your home.
This survey of burglars found that every one of them knocked on their victim’s front door before proceeding with the break-in. If someone answered the door, they had a prepared answer to give as to why they knocked. If no one answered, it was easy enough to jiggle the handle or test exterior windows for access. It seems simple, but locking your doors and windows is one of the best ways to prevent break-ins. It adds a layer of deterrence to your home that creates enough of a hassle to make the burglar find another target.
You Lack a Home Security System
Home security systems are excellent deterrents. They detect motion, monitor for breaking glass, and sound alarms. Visible security cameras can help let burglars know that their actions are being captured if not actively watched.
Combined with smart home technology, even a DIY security system can add layers of protection to your home. This also allows your system to notify you should something suspicious occur and you’re not home. So, you’ll be able to lock your doors, contact law enforcement, or even communicate with those at your front door, all from the comfort of your vacation or while waiting for the next work meeting to start.
The efficacy of home security systems is borne out in the data, too. Homes without security systems are three times more likely to be broken into when compared to those protected by security systems.
You Haven’t Called Floyd Total Security
Floyd Total Security is your home for security solutions. With over 70 years of experience, we can help assess your home or business to identify potential blind spots or points of entry.
Contact us today to make sure your home or business is secure. You can reach us at 952-881-5625.
Featured Image: Shutterstock / Lucky Business