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10 Mistakes Homeowners Make That Attract Burglars

Home should be the place you feel safest and most comfortable. It’s a place where you can spend time with the people you love and create cherished memories that last a lifetime. Investing in a home  can give a sense of security not offered while renting. 

However, maintaining that safe space for yourself and your family means being conscious and aware of the things that may threaten it. 

We know that people with ill intentions may stake out our neighborhoods looking for signs that indicate an easy target, but do you actually know what they look for? What makes a criminal decide to target one home over another? And what kinds of signs are you unintentionally sending that may leave your family vulnerable to burglary and other crimes?

Here are 10 mistakes homeowners make that attract burglars:

1. Unsecured entrances. Unlocked doors, windows, open garages, and other entrances to your home are a flashing beacon to opportunistic criminals looking for an easy hit. No matter how safe you think your community is or how much you trust your neighbors, overlooking this one basic step can cost you everything. More than stolen cash or missing items, unsecured entrances leave the people you love vulnerable to any number of potential threats.

2. Hiding keys in obvious places. Hiding keys to your home around your property may seem like a good idea. It’s far more convenient and cheaper than having to call a locksmith if you accidentally lock yourself outside. But this potential benefit isn’t worth the risk it poses. Keys left around your property can easily be found by anyone, not just trusted family members or friends. 

False rocks, magnetic key holders, and other devices used to hide spare keys aren’t nearly secure enough to ensure any actual protection against intruders. All it takes is one person to be paying attention when you place the key in its hiding place. In some cases, they don’t even have to be watching to find keys hidden in common places like beneath doormats, inside mailboxes, or atop door frames.

3. Keeping Late Hours. If your home tends to be left unoccupied in the evening and into the night, you unintentionally give criminals the opening they need to get in and out of your home undetected. Later hours mean less foot traffic or cars driving through the neighborhood to witness their misdeeds. The darkness also offers convenient coverage to make them less likely to be seen should someone passby. Plus, the later you get home, the more time they have to escape the crime scene before it’s ever discovered.

4. No exterior protection. Is your property fenced in? What about exterior lights, cameras, or motion sensors like those offered by TruHome Alarm? Without these perimeter protection measures in place, burglars and other criminals have a much easier time getting in and out of your home undetected. They may even be able to do so while you and your family are home sleeping. 

Waking to that kind of violation is deeply unsettling and can create fear and paranoia that lasts for months or years. You may even feel forced to relocate to restore your sense of security and peace of mind.

5. Leaving your home unattended during long absences. Vacations, work trips, and other travel plans may give you a nice change of pace from your everyday life, but they can also mean your home is vulnerable to crime. Families with winter homes in Florida can return after months away at their primary residence to find everything has been stolen or destroyed. It’s a devastating discovery to make on the first day of what should be your winter vacation.

You may ask a friend or family member to check in on your home while you’re away, but that still leaves your property largely unoccupied for hours or days at a time. Also, since they’re less familiar with your home, they may miss signs of a break-in or missing items. 

6. Broadcasting your schedule. Most people think no one really pays attention to their schedule, but this may not be true. Even if they’re not watching your every move, a criminal can learn a lot about your day to day activities with just a quick glance. 

Things like bumper stickers featuring your child’s school and extracurricular activities, car mounts for biking and kayaking gear, yard signs promoting upcoming community events, or even notes left for delivery drivers can tell burglars more than enough about when you’re most likely to be away so they can strike.

7. Not securing vehicles. Just like the locks on your home’s doors and windows, failing to lock up your vehicle could be just the break an opportunistic criminal is looking for. While most modern cars will automatically lock the doors after a certain period of time, older vehicles do still require manual locking. Likewise, smart cars that use keyless ignitions can be accessed if you leave the fob in the car or within a certain distance of your vehicle.

8. Expensive items on display. It’s okay to be proud of the nice things you’re able to afford for your family. Things like nice TVs, computer setups, expensive gaming consoles, and other devices can signal to would-be criminals that your home is a good target. Leaving your windows uncovered with these things within a clear line of sight can show burglars exactly where they should head once inside.

Other things like motorbikes and RVs left out in the driveway, exterior entertainment like stereos or TVs in the pool or patio area, and expensive law equipment are easy pickings for people looking for a quick and easy target.

9. Flashy jewelry and accessories. Just like items within your home, the jewelry and accessories you wear while out and about can also make you a target. Career criminals can quickly clock your expensive watch, sunglasses, rings, necklaces, handbags, and other signs of wealth. Once they’ve marked you as a target, it’s simple enough to follow you home, scope the area, and figure out the perfect time to strike.

10. Oversharing on social media. No one puts much thought into how your social media activity can put your home’s security at risk. But posting all about your travel plans, photos while away on vacation, or checking in to a location on your socials can all be incredibly dangerous. On September 12, 2022, rapper PnB Rock was shot and killed during a botched robbery after his location was posted online by his unsuspecting girlfriend. Kim Kardashian was famously subjected to a harrowing robbery at gunpoint back in 2016 after social media posts showed she was alone and unprotected in her hotel room. 

You may think no one on your friends list or watching your account would ever do such a thing, but can you say so for sure? Who might see your posts because of friends and family commenting? Who in that extended circle might they show your photos or posts without knowing their ill intentions?

The risk just isn’t worth it.

Securing Your Home with TruHome Alarm

A TruHome Alarm home security system can help put your mind at ease about all the obvious and subtle threats to your family and property. Backed by ADT, the nation’s leader in smart home security and automation, TruHome Alarm has solutions for your every need. 

From exterior and interior cameras monitored by security experts to smart locks and home automation solutions that centralize control of all your smart devices, we can help you create true comfort and safety for you and the people you love. Our industry leading technology not only deters criminals, it also shortens response time by the authorities in the case of an emergency. Plus, as part of ADT’s network you can reset easy knowing someone is always watching out for you and your family.

If you’re ready to upgrade your home’s security with TruHome Alarm and ADT, we’re ready to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and special offers at (888) 474-6878.

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