Are You Attracting a Burglar?

Without knowing it, you may be doing things that attract a burglar. Common sense is your best defense. Don’t get to fancy, or too sloppy. Simply installing a good security system is not enough. Here are eight things to avoid.

Our homes are our castles, safe havens from the boisterous world “out there.” Too often, without realizing it, we set ourselves up to attract a burglar and destroy the feeling of safety we have worked so hard to establish. It’s not so much what we don’t do, as what we do that may actually attract attention. If you do the following, you might find yourself on the radar of a burglar.

1. Leave your home doors, windows, and storage sheds unlocked. This seems like a no-brainer and for most of us it is — as far as the front door is concerned. Have you thought about the back door, or are you trusting that the fence provides a security buffer? According to Victor Urbach of The Urbach Letter, this is simply not the case. A burglar will knock on the front door to see if you are home, then promptly go to the back door to gain access. “Most burglars don’t bother picking locks,” explains Urbach.

2. Leave your car unlocked. This one I had to learn the hard way. After being told by my daughter that I shouldn’t leave my wallet and laptop in my car in the driveway, I was brought swiftly to reality the night my car was robbed. All because I left the doors unlocked. They didn’t take much, only my gym bag, trench coat, and owner’s manual, but the emotional violation I felt lasted for months.

3. Leave a key under the flower pot (or anywhere else). This is probably the most common way for a burglar to gain access to your home. Instead of hiding a key, go to your local hardware store and purchase a lock-box with a combination. Attach it to your back door and you have a safe place for your key.

4. Turn off all the lights when you leave for a night or a vacation. Here is where some smart home technology might potentially help deter a burglar. If lights are going on and off at random, it is hard to tell if there is someone home. Most burglars won’t take the chance, unless of course you do number four.

5. Post details about your upcoming vacation. Signs on your door or gate announcing you are not home for two weeks because you are hiking the Andes will foil all of your best efforts at home security. The same is true for social media posts. Doing a countdown to your upcoming vacation is not an exceptionally good idea. Save your photos of your vacation for when you return.

6. Leave boxes of expensive items at the curb. This is not limited to Christmas. Big purchases of expensive items happen during the year, and you can easily advertise this fact by simply placing the empty box at the curb for collection.

7. Have a beautiful, well manicured yard with excellent curb appeal or an unkempt, neglected yard with poor curb appeal. Here’s one you didn’t expect. Curb appeal is great, but can also attract attention whether its good or bad. Either way, make sure you include lights and security systems in your landscaping. According to international security providers, a potential burglar can spot a good security system, too.

8. Leave expensive toys outside overnight. Don’t let your children’s expensive toys say, “Come on In!” to a potential thief.

You work hard to make your home a beautiful retreat. Make it safe, too.

Christopher Williams is a Real Estate professional based in Frisco, TX home to the $5 Billion Mile, epicenter of the economic boom in North Texas. His work has appeared in technical publications, Inman News, and other publications.

Williams believes in providing World Class service with local expertise. He has always been able to make complex concepts easy to understand and applies this talent to the constantly changing vista of Real Estate. He sorts through the avalanche of online information related to national and local real estate markets and trends in his articles and brings insight in the midst of data overload.

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