One of the main goals of homeownership is to create a welcoming home for you and your loved ones to enjoy. However, in doing so you’re also creating an environment that may be attractive to thieves. According to the Uniform Crime Reporting Program of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), recently there were over 6.9 million property crimes across America, most of which occurred during daytime hours.
Besides the real possibility of losing irreplaceable items, criminals are also looking to steal your home through nefarious tactics such as title theft and mortgage fraud. DomiDocs HomeLock™ is the only proactive protection on the market – learn more today!
Let’s take a look at how thieves identify your home and what to do about it.
Air Conditioning Units in Your Windows
While they may be a saving grace during the hot summer months, a window air conditioner that’s attached to your home with a simple bracket is an unsecured entry point for a would-be thief, especially if the air conditioner is located along the backside of your home with less visibility. The Fix? Inexpensive security brackets are available that essentially interlock your air conditioner with the window sill to create a secure unit. You can also add a simple alarm to the window so you’ll be alerted if the window is inadvertently opened.
Spare Keys That Aren’t Really Hidden
While it may seem like a good idea at the time, hiding a spare key outside your home isn’t smart unless you’re extremely clever in hiding it. It will only take a few seconds for a burglar to locate a spare key hidden atop your door frame, under the welcome mat, in a potted plant, or that fake rock you think no one will notice. The Fix? Some unique suggestions for hiding a spare key outside your home according to Family Handyman include keeping a key in an unused birdhouse or securing a magnet to your key with hot glue and then placing it inside your exterior dryer vent hood (use two magnets if your vent is plastic; attach one to the vent, the other for the key).
Lock All Your Doors and Windows
According to the FBI Crime Clock, a burglary occurs every 25.7 seconds in homes across America, so even if you’re home, you should ensure all the doors and windows are locked at all times. This includes the garage door itself and the door leading from the garage into your home, as well as any storage area and/or side doors. While it’s easy to crack open a window for fresh air, it’s also an open invitation for a criminal to enter your home. The Fix? You can upgrade your windows or simply add secondary sliding locks, as well as by utilizing patio door security bars, and motion detectors with lights along any pathways to alert you to visitors.
Obviously, your beloved four-legged friends need their freedom, but a pet door can give immediate access to your home as some spry burglars can simply wriggle their way through the animal entrance, or can reach up and unlock your door from the inside. The Fix? Ensure your pet door is no bigger than it needs to be to let Fido come and go as he pleases. Experts recommend installing a pet door in a wall rather than in a door as a burglar won’t be able to access your door lock. Consider a pet door with a sensor that responds to your pet’s collar when they approach; this is also great so unwanted pets or animals don’t stray inside your home.
Garage Door Remote
Your garage door opener is such a convenience, isn’t it? However, if your remote is taken by a crook, they’ll have unhindered access to your garage. And if you don’t lock the linking door from the garage, you’ll have given them access to your entire home. The Fix? Don’t display your garage door opener on your car’s sun visor as it could easily be grabbed through an open window. Would you even notice it was missing before you got home? Probably not. Make it a habit to take the garage door remote inside your home and use it as necessary.
Can Criminals See Into Your Home?
If your home has glass patio doors, they could offer a perfect view for thieves seeking valuables such as electronics or even to find out what alarm system you have installed. The same goes for windows that seemingly are beneficial for sunshine and views. The Fix? Close the curtains and pull the blinds to block any crooks from viewing the interior of your home.
Lose the Ladder
While it may seem like a simple solution to store a ladder against your garage or another outbuilding, it’s only an easily accessible invitation for a burglar to try and gain access to an upper balcony or high floor windows of your home. The Fix? Always keep your ladders in a secured garage or storage area.
Don’t Advertise an Absence on Your Socials
It may not be a good idea to tell everyone on social media that you’ll be away from home for the next 3 weeks across the country as it’s a big white flag for potential thieves. Many thieves find their prey by friending people on social media. The Fix? If you won’t be home, use light timers inside to come on at random intervals and leave some of your curtains open slightly. You can even park a car in the driveway as an added deterrent.
Accumulating Mail & Newspapers
Besides social media, if you let newspapers and mail accumulate in your mailbox, it’s a sure sign to thieves there’s no one home. The Fix? Be sure someone is taking care of your lawn and landscaping regularly. Ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail, or have the local post office hold your mail, to maintain a sense that someone is actually home.
Don’t Advertise Your Purchases Through Recycling
Recycling is great for the planet, right? Of course it is, but if you are recycling a treasure trove of boxes highlighting new purchases for your home such as a big-screen TV box or other electronics, your cardboard recycling pile could be a signal for thieves to hit your home. The Fix? It only takes a few minutes to break down cardboard boxes into smaller pieces which can then be placed into your recycling bin. If there are eye-catching labels, cut those areas up into less readable sections.
DomiDocs offers protection and security through its easy-to-use homeowner management platform where you can safely store your documents, receipts, and photos of your valuables online so they’re accessible 24/7. DomiDocs HomeLock™ offers further protection from potential mortgage fraud and title theft – start monitoring your home today!
Author – Connie Motz