Could you be unknowingly broadcasting an invitation to thieves? Many people don’t realize that they’ve made their home an appealing target; after all, it’s not as though we all think like thieves do. But there are a few things in particular that many people accidentally do that could cause their home to become the next stop for a thief.
1. Keeping Your Garage Door Open
It doesn’t have to be for a prolonged period of time–simply leaving your garage door open for an hour or two as you clean and organize could make you a target. Many people use their garage for storage rather than their vehicles, and leaving your garage door open for as little as an hour will give your neighborhood a full view of what you keep in it. Even thieves that would shy away from breaking into a home may be willing to break into a garage; it’s simply easier.
2. Leaving the Lights On All Night
Trying to be clever by leaving the lights on while you’re out can actually backfire on you. Thieves are on to this trick and will notice if the lights are on when they shouldn’t be; lights that are on all night long for days at a time may indicate that a homeowner isn’t actually home. When in doubt, it’s actually best to leave the lights off; after all, they should be off during the day and will probably be off for most of the night.
3. Placing Expensive Items by the Window
It may seem like second nature to position your desk by your window, but leaving out expensive items such as laptops and tablets can be too tempting for a passing thief. Some crimes are carefully thought out–but others are acts of impulse. It’s very easy for a thief to open or smash a window and grab something quickly. Instead, make sure that you keep your windows obscured by blinds and window dressings, or position expensive items away from these areas.
4. Slacking on Your Exterior Maintenance
Sometimes things can just get away from you–but failing to properly maintain the exterior of your home will indicate to thieves two things: either you’re not home often or you’re not likely to care enough to have adequate security. Even though the truth may simply be that you’ve been busy at work, the last thing you want to do is give these ne’er-do-wells an invitation into your home.
5. Allowing Brochures and Slips to Stay on the Front Door
This one is an interesting one; though many people remember to get their mail checked while they’re out, they seldom have brochures and slips removed from their front door, such as “mixed package” alerts. These alerts can be a sign of an empty home. However, some people actually forget these slips on their door not because they are out but because they never use their front door–they enter through a side door or garage. Either way, it will make you a target for thieves.
Try to take a look around your home and think like a thief. Are there any things about your home that would make your house a more appropriate target than your neighbors? Look for things such as good cover, such as overgrown bushes or dead exterior lights. Anything you can improve upon will reduce your overall risk of being the victim of a crime.