7 Foolish Ways You're Increasing Your Risk of Burglary
It's a simple fact that no one is completely immune to burglary. It happens everywhere – in "good" and "bad" neighborhoods across the country, in rural areas, suburbs and cities.
This is why we take steps to minimize that risk; for example, by installing a home security system. But there are also ways to increase the risk of burglary – ways that make your home more attractive to the bad guys.
Millions of people are making these mistakes every day, and they don't even realize it. Here are just a few of them.
- Hiding a spare key under a mat
Even the dullest burglars know to check under the welcome mat for a spare key. That's because so many homeowners still "hide" their keys there! If you must leave a key outside, consider putting inside a lockbox that can only be opened with a PIN code.
- Keeping a ladder outside
Burglars love being able to enter second-floor windows, because they're often unlocked. Imagine their delight when they see you've left a ladder for them right outside your house.
- Letting mail pile up
If you noticed mail piling up outside a neighbor's home, what would you assume? Nobody is home, right? Well, that's exactly what burglars would think, too. Easy score for them. If you're going away for an extended period, stop your mail or have someone pick it up.
- "Expensive trash"
You can practically say goodbye to your new flat-screen TV if you put the empty box in plain site with the rest of your trash. That box will let burglars know they have a prize waiting for them inside. Break down the box so it's not obvious what it was used for, or take it to a recycling center.
- Leaving your house completely dark
A dark house is another open invitation for burglars. They'll know you're away or asleep. So do yourself a favor and keep a light on, or use timers to create the appearance that someone is home.
- Sharing your location on Facebook
"I'm having a great time in Hawaii!!" your buddy posted to Facebook. Unfortunately, his message was seen by the wrong people, and his home was burglarized hours later. Don't let this happen to you. Keep your location private, especially if you'll be gone for several days.
- Leaving doors and windows unlocked
Admit it: you've done this. Probably because you assume burglary won't happen to you. Well, then, consider yourself another victim, because this is one of the biggest mistakes resulting in residential theft. No burglars want to break a window or pry a door open unless they absolutely have to. They will first check if it's unlocked, and if so, they will gladly enter.