Is Your Home a Prime Target for Burglars?

“The Gullible family’s enjoying seven blissful days in paradise! #AlohaBitches!!!”

How many times have you seen a post like this in social media? Why do these people allow their egos to turn their home into a prime target for burglars? They’ve just announced to everyone (via the internet) that their home is empty. Plus, the post is date and time stamped. They might as well just leave a key under the doormat. Which, by the way is another stupid thing people frequently do—then wonder why their flat screen is gone when they get home and the front door is standing open.

Here’s how to NOT be one of those people.

1. Keep Quiet About Travel Plans

Far better to come home and tell everyone how cool the trip WAS than to announce it while you’re away and reveal that your home is unguarded. You might as well leave all of your valuables out on the front lawn. At least then, maybe the perps won’t break a window.

2. Use a Digital Keypad Lock

Rather than risk hiding a key under a rock, above the door ledge, or God forbid, under the doormat; get a digital keypad lock. Change the code monthly and make sure everyone who needs to know it does. These can also be set up to lock and unlock with a smartphone, so if your child forgets the code, you can let them in remotely (when they say the predetermined passphrase of course).

3. Get a Tiny Dog

Yeah, everybody thinks a Pit Bull, Rottweiler, Doberman or German Shepherd is the best move when it comes to getting a watch dog. But they’re too confident. They’ll sit quietly and wait for the burglar to enter your home—possibly with a juicy steak. Nervous breeds like Chihuahuas, Terriers and Dachshunds yap incessantly anytime something unfamiliar happen around them. This makes somebody come see what all the fuss is about. In many ways, they’re just as good as the best homeowners insurance. Burglars know this and avoid homes with them.

4. Keep Ladders Locked in the Garage

Leaving a ladder lying beside your house is the very definition of enabling when it comes to making your home a prime target for thieves. They’ll pick it up, carry it into your backyard, take their pick of the bedroom windows (which, by the way is the first room they usually search) and go through your home at their leisure.

5.Cut Hedges and Trees Back

Put yourself inside a ski mask for a moment. Would you rather go after a house with tall hedges, behind which the possibility of being observed from the street is next to zero? Or would you prefer to break into a house with 360º visibility from all sides? Yeah, real home invaders prefer the former too.

6. Be Friendly with Your Neighbors

A good set of neighbors is the next best thing to a paid security force. Yeah, that nosey guy across the street who always seems to be looking out their windows might be kinda creepy, but if he sees suspicious movement around your home, he’s likely to say something—especially if he knows it’s the time of day (or night) when you’re usually away. Make it a point to be cool with your neighbors, watch their backs and they’ll watch yours too.

Observing these six tips will help make your home less attractive to those who would rather take—than make—a living. Ignoring them will pretty much turn your home into a prime target for burglars.