Criminals generally don’t rob homes at random. They’ll sit and watch for days, just to figure out your routine and decide if your home is rob-able. They know all the tricks of the trade, and are out to make a profit.
How can you make your home more secure?
Read on to learn about some common mistakes by homeowners which invite criminals in.
You and your hubby are going on a dream vacation. You’ll be roaming Italy for the next two weeks, and rekindling your love on the sun-warmed countryside. You update your Facebook status to make your old high school flame a little bit jealous. You tweet when you’re packing, when your flight is taking off, and when you’re upgraded to the romantic honeymoon suite at your hotel. You want the world to know what an excellent time you’re having.
“Make yourself at home, have a drink, and feel free to rob my house!” You’re determined to show your excitement, but that’s the message you’re putting out to vigilant criminals. It’s really not too hard for people to track you through social media. If you’re going to be gone for a few days or a few weeks, or even just an hour, you’ve given robbers more than enough time for a speedy break-in. Avoid telling people when you’re going to be gone, and ask a neighbor to watch your house. It might even be a good idea to ask a relative to stay at your home while you’re on your trip.
You’re at work plugging away on a mega-important project when time gets away from you. You think about your poor doggy, home alone, crossing his little legs because no one has let him out for hours. You give your neighbor a call to ask him if he can let the dog out and give him some fresh water, since you still have a long commute. You tell him the spare key is hidden in the planter.
The spare key system might protect your home, but only if the perpetrator is still in pre-school. If we’re talking about an adult criminal, however, that’s a whole different ballgame. Avoid hiding your spare keys; try using a keypad or pretend you’re an FBI agent and install a fingerprint scanner system instead. If you absolutely must succumb to spare-key syndrome, be creative about your hiding place. And just so we’re clear, creative hiding places don’t include planters, doormats, or fake rocks.
As a family Christmas gift, you purchase a fifty-inch flat-screen HDTV. The next day, the giant cardboard box goes out for garbage pickup. You’re so proud of this new TV that you place it right by your front window. This will make you the coolest kid on the block because people will be dying to get invited to one of your future Super Bowl parties.
Although it may skyrocket you to popularity, any evidence of expensive merchandise should not be obviously placed in the trash, or displayed near windows. This is inviting criminals in, because obviously, your house has really good stuff. If packaging needs to go out in the trash, shred it, so criminals don’t know what expensive electronics you’re hoarding in your house.
You live in a cozy neighborhood, and your door is always open for friends and visitors. You’re quite the social butterfly, so you like to leave your house open and wander across the street to have a cold beer (or two, or three, or four…) while your kids are riding their bikes up and down the street. It’s a nice night out, so when you go to bed, you leave the windows and front door open so some fresh air can blow in through the screens.
Unless you live on an inaccessible private island, screens aren’t going to protect you from anything but flies. Even if you have an alarm system, you should always lock your doors. Alarm systems can certainly prevent burglars from taking anything once they get in the house, but they won’t do much to prevent an actual break-in. Make sure any points of entry are always secured. If you’re not home, it’s not exactly going to be hard to walk in through an unlocked door. And if you are home, how hard would it be to kick in the screen and sneak in through the window? No matter how secure you feel, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t skimp on locks! Always use deadbolts to lock doors and windows, and make sure that all doors are heavy enough that they can’t be kicked in.
You always read the Quicken Loans blog, so you’re really up to date on your home security tips. You’ve done it all: put deadbolts on the doors, installed a security system, and nixed the spare key. You’ve taken it a step further and installed a moat and hired professional archers to stand in the front bedroom window on the second story to shoot poison darts at potential burglars. You’ve even put signs for your home security system in the front of your house, because you know they’ll deter break-ins.
Close, but no cigar. There’s a front and a back to your home. Remember that burglars often enter from the back of the house since they’ll be less visible to neighbors. If you really want to make a criminal think twice, place security signs and other precautions in the back of your home too.
Home security is no joke. Following these tips, as well as taking other security precautions, can really help decrease your chances of a robbery. To learn more about home security systems, and how they can provide more security for your biggest asset, check out Protect America Home Security.