Millions of home burglaries occur in this country every year. Burglars do not limit themselves to certain neighborhoods. They are not choosy about breaking into a home as opposed to an apartment. They will go wherever the opportunity presents itself. With that in mind, burglars tend to look for properties they consider magnets.
Is your home a burglary magnet? Perhaps. If it is and you have not been burglarized to date, consider yourself lucky. Leave everything unchanged and the chances are good your luck will eventually run out. Make the necessary changes and you will reduce the chances of being burglarized in the future.
Vivint Smart Home is a nationwide provider of monitored home security systems and home automation equipment. One of the most popular blog posts on their website explains to readers everything they need to know to make their homes burglar proof. The information in the post is rock solid. However, no home is 100% burglar proof. The best a person can do is understand just how susceptible the home is, then make the necessary changes.
If you are interested in making your home safer, here are six signs that it is a burglary magnet:
1. Denial on Your Part
The number one sign that your home is a burglary magnet is denial on your part. In other words, if you do not take any precautions because you assume bad things only happen to other people, you are setting yourself up every time you leave home. The truth is that preventing burglary requires effort on your part.
Burglars look for unoccupied homes. They prey on careless homeowners who don’t make the effort to make their homes difficult to breach. You are that kind of person if you live in a fantasy world that assumes you could never be victimized.
2. You Leave Doors Unlocked
It seems like a given that a person should lock their doors whenever they leave home. Experts even recommend we keep them locked when we are home. Knowing that, it’s surprising that a 2013 survey commissioned by Nationwide Insurance revealed that one-quarter of all U.S. homeowners regularly leave the front door unlocked. Half do so frequently.
What you need to know is that the front door is the preferred point of entry for burglars. They would rather avoid breaking windows or forcibly entering through the garage or back door. Those other means of entry are too noisy and messy. So what do they do? They check the front door handles to see if they are locked. If not, they walk right in.
Routinely leaving home and not locking the door is a recipe for disaster. One of these days, a burglar is going to knock and find you not home. You will eventually return to find your valuables gone.
3. Poor Visibility from Street
Burglars are notorious for not wanting to draw attention to themselves. To that end, they prefer homes with views that are obscured from the street. How does your home fare in this regard? If it is set back from the street far enough that it’s hard to see, there isn’t much you can do about it. You have to rely on other means to make your home less attractive.
However, if your home can be seen from the street, is the view obscured by overgrown trees and shrubs? Do you store anything in your driveway or yard that prevents a clear view? Clean out the front of your home and you will make it less attractive to burglars. If passersby can see the front clearly, night or day, your chances of being burglarized go down.
Along those same lines, burglars are attracted to unkempt lawns and landscaping elements. The way they see it, a property owner too careless to look after the exterior of their home probably hasn’t taken any extra options to prevent burglary. An unkempt exterior definitely catches a burglar’s eye.
4. An Open Garage Door
Another sign of a careless property owner is a garage door that is open more often than closed. Consider that burglars spend time looking around neighborhoods before choosing their targets. If driving through your neighborhood three days in a row reveals the garage door open during every trip through, you are telegraphing to burglars that your home might be an easier target than your neighbor’s.
What’s more, a skilled burglar can survey the contents of your garage as they slowly walk or drives by. What they see will tell them something about what they might find in the house. A lot of expensive toys in the garage suggests attractive valuables in the master bedroom. Leaving your garage door open may actually be an invitation of sorts.
5. Fake Alarm Company Signs
You can go online and purchase all sorts of fake alarm company yard signs, placards, and window decals. They may fool an inexperienced burglar, but they will not fool anybody who makes a good living breaking into homes. Face it, burglars shop, too. They have seen those same signs and placards online.
Why would this matter to a burglar? Because it tells them that you want the benefits of home security without having to pay for it. In other words, you’re cheap. You probably haven’t spent money on heavy-duty deadbolt locks, video surveillance cameras, or any of the other tools that would give burglars a reason to pause.
6. A Frequently Unoccupied Home
Finally, your home is likely a burglary magnet if it is frequently unoccupied. Perhaps you are single, and you travel for work. How often do you leave home and for how long? A home that remains unoccupied for significant chunks of time is one that burglars might decide is worth the effort. You can counter that with a monitored home security system or by making arrangements for someone to come stay at your place while you are gone.
Burglars are not stupid. They know which properties are the most attractive to hit. They know which houses constitute burglary magnets. Do you?