No one enjoys coming back to a house that has been ransacked by strangers. The F.B.I. reports that there are normally over a million burglaries each year in the United States and that the total amount lost by victims of burglary offenses in 2019 was expected to be $3 billion (FBI).
Thieves won’t go to break into any old house. They go for the ones with the most obvious weaknesses. If your home is protected adequately, the burglars will likely move on to an easier target. But even if you believe you have adequate security measures in place, you may be leaving your property vulnerable.
In this article, you’ll learn the top 5 home safety recommendations that experts estimate the average person overlooks.
You are not preventing mail from stacking up while you are away
Avoid having packages stacked up at your door if you won’t be home for a while. The experts at ADT warn that if mail or newspapers begin to pile up in your mailbox or on your driveway, it’s a clear sign that nobody is home. That’s the kind of thing that attracts opportunistic thieves, so be careful.
The security firm claims that this also applies to mail placed on doorsteps. You can avoid this by not accepting any mail delivery or by asking a friend or neighbor to pick up and store your packages until you return. If you are going to be away from home and don’t want your mail piling up, you can have the US Postal Service (USPS) hold it at your local post office until you get back.
You aren’t taking care of hiding spots in and around your house
There’s a common misconception that adding fencing and gates to your property will increase its security and privacy. Expert on all things domestic and Casadar co-founder Laurice Constantine cautions that this is not always the case. She warns that burglars will have “places to hide and cover” if they are able to access your property through a gate or fence. “If you allow a burglar too much privacy, he or she may be able to break into your house without you even knowing it was done,” Constantine warns.
Similarly, Constantine suggests that the landscape around your home “could influence how welcoming your property is to individuals with evil intentions.” The professional maintains that the shrubs and trees that flank your home provide the same degree of privacy as the fence and gates. The solution, according to Constantine, is to place low-growing or thin-shrubs near the home and taller, denser plants at a greater distance.
Your garage is not adequately protected
According to Joshua Haley, CEO of Moving Astute and specialist on all things residential, the garage is a “popular point of entry for burglars.” Haley says that closing and locking your garage door is an easy way to prevent intruders from gaining entry to your property.
“Automated garage door locks are incredibly secure and will engage with just a push of a button,” explains Edward Flower, general director of door company Hollington Doors Ltd.
You don’t always lock your doors and windows
However, according to Yasmin Purnell of Surewise, a home insurance provider, “a staggering proportion of individuals don’t actually take the time to secure their doors and windows” when they leave the house, even though it may seem like the most apparent action to take when securing your home from burglars.
According to Purnell, “Burglars, in general, are searching for an easy target to hit.” Even if you don’t think it’s visible from the outside, leaving a window or door unsecured greatly increases the likelihood that your home will be broken into.
This is an important safety measure to take at all times, not just when you leave the house. Haley advises that you take extra precautions to keep your home secure by locking all doors and windows at all times. He cautions that “people often think that if they are home, there is no way a burglar would try to break in,” but this is not always the case. A potential thief will try to break into your house if they know you’re there and they think they can do so undetected.
There is no security camera in your home
When it comes to preventing house invasions, “many people underestimate the efficacy of a deterrent,” as Purnell puts it. The home expert cited video security cameras as an important example of this. She says that a burglar will think twice before breaking into your home if there’s a CCTV camera or smart doorbell in plain sight.
In the event that even the most inexpensive alternative is beyond your financial means, you may resort to something that is not genuine or that does not truly operate to accomplish your goal. Even a fake CCTV camera, as Purnell puts it, can be enough to repel a potential intruder in that split second. If you choose this route, make sure no one can tell that your camera isn’t recording, and know that if someone breaks into your house, you won’t have any proof.