According to FBI crime statistics, there were an estimated 7,694,086 property crimes nationwide with losses of $15.3 billion in 2017.
Though you certainly don’t want your home to become the next target of potential thieves, sometimes you might be unwittingly inviting burglars into your home and putting your property (your family as well) at risk.
To avoid ending up in a low-hanging fruit in the eyes of intruders, make sure you’re away from these 8 home security mistakes:
Unlocked doors, windows, and other entrances
The shocking fact is that 32% of homeowners leave a window open and 13% leave a door unlocked. This offers a great opportunity for thieves to sneak into your home without alerting your neighbors.
So, take a few seconds before you leave home to double check all your doors, windows, and other entry points. And don’t forget about your storage shed, basement or garage as well!
No lights on at night
A dark home at night can be a clear sign that your house is vacant. Instead of turning all your lights on when you’re away from home (smart burglars will easily see through this trick), it’s better to install timers on interior lamps. That way, you can create an appearance that the house is occupied.
Uncollected mails, newspapers, and packages
If you plan to go away for a vacation or on a business trip, ask a reliable neighbor, friend or family member to pick up your mails, newspapers, and packages in advance. You may request the post office to hold your mails and ask the newsagent to stop delivering your papers until you come back home.
Leaving ladders and tools out
Leaving a ladder, hammer, saw and other tools in open areas is practically inviting trouble for yourself. Once these fall into the hands of burglars, the next thing you can expect, without any doubt, would be forced entry into your home.
Place your tools in your garage or basement after use. Also, make sure that your basement and garage are well locked.
Untrimmed bushes and landscape
Overgrown bushes not only provide ideal shelter for burglars to hide when casing your house but also indicate that you have been away for a long time. It might lure burglars into your home.
Trim the bushes and mow your lawn regularly to make sure no one can hide in it. If you’re going away for a long period of time, hire someone to attend to the landscape during your absence.
Displaying valuable items in plain view
Are you leaving your garden furniture and lawn decorations in plain sight? Or do you just throw away the box of your brand-new TV or computer on the curb? Watch out!
Thieves select homes to break into by taking note of boxes curbed as trash, especially during holiday seasons. A safer way to dispose of the trashes for valuables is to cut them up and toss them in the trash can.
Leaving spare keys under carpet/stones
You might think it is a great idea to hide your spare keys under the carpet or stones but never underestimate the burglars. They’re good at hide-and-seek games.
Doormats, flowerpots, mailboxes, and stones are normally the first places smart thieves would search for. If you’re afraid that you might be locked out, give a set of keys to a trustworthy family member or your friend.
Showing off on social media
It is understandable that you love to share a memorable experience during a trip on social media. But take heed, posting your vacation details on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram is basically announcing to the burglars that your home is unoccupied and free to break into.
So instead of posting your real-time vacation moments, wait until you come back home to share the photos online.
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Hi, I’m Elena Smith, a blogger, gardener, designer and DIY enthusiast devoted to sharing everything ranging from gardening, homesteading, off-grid living to technology.