In a recent article, ABC News shared important information about keeping your home safe as the summer draws to a close. When kids head back to school, sports and extracurriculars tend to keep families away during the workweek. This means that your home is uninhabited for longer periods of time, creating the perfect opportunity for burglars and other crooks to invade your property.
Luckily, there are a few simple ways you can make your home less of a target for petty criminals. Protect your family and your belongings by following these smart homeowner’s tips:
Make Your Home Less Tempting
Before deciding to rob a house, many burglars carefully observe a home and a neighborhood to select a good target. They need to know if they can get in and out of a home without being caught, and they need to know if a house has enough valuables to make breaking in worth the effort and risk. To make your home look hard to enter and less like a treasure trove, try some of these easy tricks:
- Keep landscaping neat and minimal to limit easy hiding spots, and to look less like a wealthy target
- Keep windows covered to deter snooping
- Keep the yard clear of expensive toys
- Don’t display new, big purchases by keeping TV and stereo boxes inside until trash day
- Mix up your routine from time to time, so that observers don’t know exactly when to strike
Keep Your Fortress Impenetrable
Even if criminals decide to target your home, you can still make it hard for them to steal items by practicing good home security. Keep crooks out with the following steps:
- Try security cameras and alarm systems
- Don’t hide your spare key under the doormat, and instead consider a lock with a code
- Consider thorny shrubs under windows to prevent hiding and break-ins
- Get a good dog
- Make it look like you’re always home with lamps, a TV, or a radio on a timer
Be Smart With Valuables
Finally, if a thief does manage to break in, you can still limit their success by protecting your valuables and other items that might tempt a robbery, like liquor, prescription drugs, and firearms. To keep your stuff and your family safe during and after a break in, take the following steps:
- Shred old receipts, and keep information-rich documents like passports hidden. After all, one in every 16 U.S. adults had their identity stolen in 2016.
- Keep guns and ammunition locked in an unbreakable gun safe
- Keep decoy valuables, like fine jewelry and small amounts of cash, in obvious places so thieves don’t continue to look for your more expensive and important treasures
Although home robberies may not be common in your area, taking simple preventative steps can help any home stay safe. Be smart about your yard, habits, and where you keep your stuff so that criminals can’t make victims out of you and your family.