Contrary to popular belief, most burglaries aren’t the big productions that we might think or see in films. We’d like to imagine that the bad guys will make long drawn out plans to pull off their devious scheme. While this might certainly be true if the crook is breaking into a high-security museum, it’s probably not the case for the common criminal breaking into neighborhood homes. 

To keep yourself and your valuables safe, here are five things likely to make your home a target and what you can do to protect yourself from being a victim. 

Easy Entry Points

Believe it or not, most burglars can break into a home within a minute and they are gone in under ten minutes. Many times it’s not because they are highly skilled criminals like we see in the movies, but rather because they took advantage of a vulnerable situation. This can include leaving doors open or unlocked and leaving windows open. 

Have you ever known someone to open a door or window to get some fresh air, and then leave the house to run a quick errand without properly locking up? Maybe it’s happened to you once or twice in the past. You thought, “Oh, I’ll just run to the store, it’ll only be five minutes.” Well, the wrong person walking past your home at that very moment will have easy access to steal a few items and be gone before you return. 

Protect your home from would-be intruders by locking doors and windows when you leave or when you won’t be nearby. Make sure you have sturdy deadbolt locks on all doors. Another good piece of advice is to research home alarm systems and get one installed that fits your needs and budget. 

Empty House

As we covered above, make sure all doors and windows are properly locked when you aren’t home. If you’re going away for the weekend or taking a family vacation then avoid giving the impression that the home is empty. This could mean hiring a house sitter, asking a friend to pick up the mail and newspaper, or having a timed light go on at nighttime to give the impression that someone is home. 

Prior Knowledge

The weeks leading up to a vacation can be exciting and sometimes we want to share that excitement with friends and co-workers. However, an innocent conversation can be a golden ticket for not-so-innocent listening ears. Be careful when sharing details about vacations and getaways to ensure there aren’t any eavesdroppers who might want to take advantage of your absence. 

Also, avoid posting information about your vacation online until after you’ve returned. While we might want to share those fun vacation photos with our friends online, you’re essentially telling everyone that your house is totally empty. Chances are that you can’t personally vouch for every single person that you’re connected with on social media. One of those former colleagues, old classmates, or loose associations might be hiding a dark secret. 

Visible Valuables

Avoid leaving precious items or valuables within eyesight of windows and doorways. This is especially true if you don’t have curtains covering your windows or like to let the light in during the day. Don’t give prying eyes a reason to envy your valuable possessions. 

Use these tips to help protect your family and home from would-be intruders.