While nobody wants their home broken into, the FBI facts are that a burglary occurs every 20 seconds in the US. Home burglars generally have a pattern, as criminals are looking for an easy target they can rob and get out fast. Here are six tips from career burglars that you can use to protect your home and prevent break ins without installing top-dollar security features.
1. Nighttime Burglaries Aren’t the Most Common
Burglars are looking for the most probably time that there will be no one home, which means the daylight hours. Weekdays are ideal, since weekend schedules are too unpredictable. The most popular times that break-ins occur are between 12:30pm and 2:30pm when people are usually away at work or school.
2. They Know When You’re Not Home – Thanks, Social Media!
Most people post in real-time when they’re on vacation or away from home. Unfortunately, tech-savvy criminals take advantage of that and scout social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and FourSquare to find victims. An I-Team survey found that over 10% of burglars used social media to find victims, including one burglar in Orange County who targeted at least 33 women he saw in public and used the GPS data embedded in photos posted to their Facebook & Instagram to break into their homes in 2015. Even for those with private accounts, an old friend from high school or a neighbor down the street could be a potential criminal. Never post what times you’re not home or how long you’ll be gone and save trip photos to post after you’re back home.
3. They Don’t Like Security
Burglars don’t want anything to do with alarm systems, whether they’re top of the line or not. Homes without an alarm system are almost 300% more likely to be a target. If you have an alarm system, make sure the code isn’t easy to guess like a house number or a birthday, and make sure to keep the keypad clean so a burglar can’t guess based off the numbers you’ve pressed the most. Make sure to use the security features your home already has, like locking your windows, doors, and keeping the exterior of your house well-lit. Tricks that make it seem like someone is home also work. Motion sensor lights, bright flood lights, timed lights in the house, radio or TV left on, or a car in the driveway are all things that make a burglar nervous that someone is home.
4. Gun Advertisements are Not Security
If you’re a proud gun owner, it entices burglars more than it scares them away. A gun is stolen roughly every two minutes in the US, so it’s better to keep your guns in a safe. NRA bumper stickers or Smith & Wesson signs on a house advertises that there’s usually a lot of guns to steal inside.
5. Shrubs & Architecture Make Great Hiding Spots
Tall thick bushes, half walls, big fountains and other overgrown landscaping are great to hide in, not only from you but from the neighbors, too. Keep your landscaping regularly trimmed and décor elements well-lit. If you do want big plants by your windows, consider something thorny like cacti or roses.
6. Valuables Left in the Open Are an Enticing Target
Expensive things left within clear view of windows are advertising to burglars what kind of items they can steal. Make sure to put tablets, laptops, or anything valuable away from view from first story windows. Key hooks, especially labeled ones, should also be kept out of sight. Mike Fraser, a former professional burglar and host of the BBC show Beat the Burglar, also advised to leave large family calendars out of view since they detail when you’ll be away from home. Any documents with your personal information should also be kept out of view as they can turn into a gold mine for criminals looking to easily steal your details for identity theft.
Using these tips can help you prevent your home from being broken into. Be sure to research crime rates and trends in your city and neighborhood, especially when you’re looking to purchase a home in an area you’re not familiar with. It’s an important step of the home buying process!
If you’re thinking about purchasing a home, please give The Gina McKinley Group a call at 480-355-8645 or email Info@LocateArizonaHomes.com. We’ve love to schedule a free consultation to educate you on the home buying process so you can make the most informed decision for your family.