Opportunistic criminals scan properties to find the ideal target. Many homeowners assume that investing in an off-the-shelves security system could protect their homes. In reality, a security alarm with a camera and lights can be a helpful addition. However, too many residential systems can fail to deter seasoned burglars. They do not present a tricky obstacle to overcome. Many burglars can still gain access to your property, even if you’ve got a prominent CCTV system in place. Indeed, most systems fail to cover all angles, leaving an easy path for criminals. Countless former burglars and experienced police officers warn homeowners about the risks of criminal intrusions. They recommend paying close attention to these 5 tell tales that can invite intruders inside. 

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Old doors and windows mean easy access

How long does it take a burglar to force the lock of your old door or window? The answer is less than a minute. In other words, if you’ve got an old structure, you will need to consider a door and window replacement service, such as professional renewal by Andersen Windows. Criminals scan homes for outdated locks and frames that are easy to pick. Burglars tend to spot signs of unmaintained doors and windows easily, so make sure to avoid these mistakes:

  • Chipped paint or varnish on the frame
  • Broken glass panes
  • Rusty or rotten frame in places
  • Rust on the lock and handle
  • Visible and accessible screws and nails around the frame

Nobody mows the lawn; nobody’s at home

You might think that mowing the lawn is all about enhancing curb appeal. In reality, from a burglar’s perspective, properties with an overgrown garden are easy to target. They present plenty of hiding spots in the tall grass and bushes. Clean and freshly cut grass is a fantastic deterrent. It shows that you monitor the property closely, keeping up with maintenance jobs at all times. As a result, burglars tend to assume that you might be at home or may notice any unwanted presence around the garden. 

According to authorities, 15% of break-ins involve climbing through the windows. Making your windows tough to access from the garden is essential. If you’ve got trees by the windows, you need to cut access by removing the low branches. Ideally, you want trees to be far enough from your windows.  

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High fences are not always a good idea

You might think that a high fence will keep criminals at bay. In reality, high fences prevent anybody from seeing your home. This also includes your neighbors who could raise the alarm in case of suspicious activities. A tall fence is counterproductive. It keeps burglars safely hidden once they’ve managed to climb over the fence. Therefore, a small fence will ensure two things. Firstly, your neighbors can notice intruders approaching your home. Secondly, you can also see into your neighbors’ garden and front yard, which means you can keep their home safe too. Establishing a trust relationship with your neighbors can ensure your community is equipped to protect itself against burglars. 

Smart hiding spots are too easy to guess

We get it: Hiding a key by your home can help beat the usual can’t-find-my-keys anxiety. Unfortunately, it’s also the number one cause of burglary intrusions. Criminals know the most popular hiding spots for your keys, which means they can enter your property whenever they please. The key under the doormat trick doesn’t surprise anyone anymore. Most burglars check your doormat as a priority. Some of the most obvious placements include the fake rock in the front yard, inside a plant pot by the porch, by the porch light, on top of the door frame, and inside the mailbox. The problem with these spots is that they’re far too obvious. Yet, if you’re trying to be creative, you could end up losing your key for good. Hiding the door key inside the rain gutter could mean it gets flushed out on a rainy day. Similarly, if you are trying to use the landscape, rain and wildlife could play against you. 

You’ve got a routine

Last but not least, burglars don’t pick a house at random. They observe to make sure they approach your property when it’s unguarded. As helpful as it can be to have a strict routine, it also makes it easier for criminals to follow your schedule. You can vary your routine to make your property more difficult to attack. The addition of randomized light, which can be plugged into a timer, can keep burglars at bay, making it look like there’s someone at home when they expect it to be empty. 

Protecting your home needs to include making it burglar-proof. Avoiding these costly mistakes can prevent unwanted intrusions. The bottom line: Don’t make it easy for them to break in. Burglars prefer to avoid difficult targets for fear of exposure. So make sure your home becomes an uncomfortable and challenging property for criminals.