Thieves choose the homes they burgle for more than just the goods inside. But what causes a thief to target one house and skip past another? Ask yourself the following questions, and if you answer “no” to any of them, take steps to make your home less appealing to thieves.
- Does My Home Look Lived in?
Before they strike, burglars often watch the homes they target to learn about the residents’ schedules. For instance, if you leave home at the same time every day to go to work, a thief could watch you for several days and break in when they’re sure you won’t be back for a few hours.
Obviously, you can’t change your work schedule, but you can try to make it look like someone is home all the time. Use a timer so lights come on even when you’re out, stop your mail and packages when you leave for vacation, and install outdoor motion sensors to make your home looked lived in at all times.
- Is My Yard Well Kept?
Maintaining your yard helps your home looked lived in, but you should keep hedges clean for more than looks alone. Many burglars look for houses with tall trees and bushes that they can easily hide behind.
Keep your bushes well-trimmed and cut any large trees and branches that may make it easy to enter through a window. Once you’ve trimmed your plants, keep your yard tools in their proper place—a rake or trowel left out in the yard could become a tool used to break in to your home.
If you’re going out of town, ask a neighbor to come over and mow your lawn once or twice a week. A freshly mowed lawn signals that someone has been home recently, so burglars are more likely to steer clear.
- Do I Have a Neighborhood Watch?
A neighborhood watch program can be a great way to help prevent crime in your neighborhood. When neighbors watch out for each other, they spot unusual activity earlier. Additionally, posting neighborhood watch signs can cause thieves to avoid your entire area.
If you don’t have a neighborhood watch program yet, get to know your neighbors and find out if any of them are interested in forming one. Plus, the better you and your neighbors know each other, the better you can watch out for each other and spot odd activity.
- Do I Have a Security System?
If you don’t have a security system, it might be time to consider one. Studies show that homes without a security system are three times more likely to be burglarized. An alarm system, including a posted alarm system sign and obvious outdoor cameras and locks, will immediately deter most burglars.
Finally, always close and lock your backyard gates. This small step might not seem like a big deal, but a thief is much more likely to pass up a yard with a closed gate and move on to one with an open gate.
If you answered “no” to any of these questions, consider taking some extra steps to make your home less appealing to thieves. Do you have additional tips for keeping burglars away? Share them with us in the comments.