But even a brief errand can be the perfect opportunity for burglars that know what they’re looking for. Here are some of the tell-tale signs that are like welcome mats for burglars:
- Stack of newspapers or bursting mailboxes. Surely these are some of the most obvious signs that no one has been home for days. If you know you’re going to be gone, put a vacation hold on newspapers and mail. Plan ahead, as some publications and post offices need a few days to few weeks warning to accommodate requests.
- No trash cans on the curb on trash day. Or vice versa, trash cans still out long after they’ve been collected. This may not be as good an indicator as a stack of newspapers, but it will surely whet the appetite of burglars driving through the neighborhood collecting information.
- Fresh virgin snow on a driveway or steps leading up to the home. A new coat of snow can give burglars a sense of how often people are walking through and cars are driving in and out of a driveway. If the snow is virgin after a day or two of downfall, it’s a good sign for burglars. Have a friend or neighbor shovel your property while you’re out, or at the very least, walk through your front yard to create a semblance of activity.
- Vacation plans on answering machines or social networking sites. Never leave your vacation plans on your answering machines. A simple, “We can’t come to the phone right now” should be sufficient. Burglars might give your property a call in hopes of a vacation response. Don’t give them that benefit. In fact, be careful about posting the same information on sites like Facebook or Twitter. Criminals are constantly looking for an edge and anything you post online might not be as private as you think it is.
- Obstructed windows. Windows, which are obstructed by landscaping or anything else, can be a sweet spot for a burglar. They will target these windows since it gives them a natural cover against witnesses. Keep your landscape neatly trimmed, and keep your windows locked when they’re closed. If you have security system installed, be sure to ask for window sensors on all windows including upper levels.
Use these 5 tips and advice to protect you, your family and especially your most prized possession… Your Home!!
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