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Your home may have nice curb appeal, but does it also look inviting to criminals? If you’re planning on being out of town during the holidays, take note. You may want to look at your home from the street and make sure you’re not unwittingly inviting burglars into your home by doing one (or more) of these five things.

5 Ways You May Be Inviting Burglars Into Your Home

  1. Leaving doors and windows unlocked. This may seem obvious, but double-checking that both first- and second-floor windows are locked and secured is a good precaution. Homeowners often leave the door from the garage into their home unlocked, which is an easy way for burglars to gain entry. With some basic technology, it’s easy to open many automatic garage doors. When the garage is empty, a crafty thief can just pull right in, load up on valuables and drive away without alerting neighbors! When possible, disable your automatic garage door opener and lock the door into your home. And don’t forget about your storage shed – it should be locked too.

  2. Allowing unkempt landscaping. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, be sure to hire someone to keep up the appearance of someone being home. Although many people hire a lawn service to cut their grass, think about the rest of your home’s exterior. Overgrown shrubs provide a hiding place for burglars to break into your home. If it’s fall and the gutters begin to overflow with leaves, you’ll need someone to attend to that as well. For zero maintenance, you can install gutter protection products like Gutter Helmet® and stop worrying about your gutters. Gutter cap cost is nothing compared to the expense of a home break-in!

  3. Leaving boxes on the street. Boxes send signals to the unscrupulous in two ways. First, packages on your porch tell burglars no one is home. They may come and take them, while peeking inside your home to see what else they may want. Secondly, when you dispose of boxes from new gifts right next to your trash, you’re displaying to everyone what valuables you have inside. Always cut boxes up and place them inside your trash receptacle or recycle bin.

  4. Lack of home security. Some homeowners have signs in their yards for their alarm monitoring company. Other homeowners choose security cameras to record the areas around their home. If you leave your porch lights off all the time, you’re making it easier for someone to break into your home since no one will be able to see an intruder from the street. Consider leaving your porch light on and installing motion sensor lights around your home to improve exterior lighting. Inside, put lights on timers when you go away to fool burglars into thinking someone is home.

  5. Hidden keys. Any burglar will tell you that there is no such thing as a truly hidden key. They know all about the rocks and other places that homeowner put keys. Once they find them, they can walk right into your house. If you need to have a spare key for emergencies, give one to a trusted neighbor.

There are many other signs burglars look for when casing a home – like newspapers and mail on the porch or no car in the driveway when there usually is one. Ask a neighbor to collect your mail daily and park a car in the driveway to give the appearance that someone is home. Also, avoid oversharing on social media. Sometimes burglaries happen because you’ve advertised you’re not home!

Take Smart Steps to Protect Your Home

Before you head out of town, take the time to do little things to prevent your home from becoming one of the one in every 36 homes that will be burglarized this year. If you’re ready to learn more about gutter protection products from Gutter Helmet, call us at (800) 824-3772 today.