More than 1.4 million structures are burglarized every year according to the most recent statistics released by the FBI, with homes making up the bulk of these property crimes at 67.2 percent. The total loss of all of these combined is an estimated $3.4 billion, which breaks down to roughly $2,416 per break-in.
Not only is it costly to replace items taken, some can’t be replaced at all. Family heirlooms, sentimental objects, and one-of-a-kind pieces are often gone for good.
While there is nothing you can do to be 100 percent safe from intruders—even heavily guarded prisoners have found ways to make it past the guards—there are a few actions you can take that can make your home less appealing. Here are a few options to consider.
Post security signs. Though it may be ideal to install an alarm system to protect your home, the reality is that this option comes with a cost, making it unaffordable for some. Another option is to simply post signs warning potential burglars that your property is being monitored as this may be enough to keep them away. You can buy them right on Amazon.
Plant thorny bushes under easy-to-access windows. If you’ve ever accidentally locked yourself out of your house, then you know how important it is to find an easy-to-access window that you can just crawl in. Burglars like quick and easy routes too, so planting thorny bushes under these types of windows can make your home less appealing, not to mention more painful to pursue.
Keep your property well lit. If you are a criminal, which house would you rather hit: one that is lit up like an airport runway or one that sits in total darkness? Fortunately, you don’t have to rack up a $500 electric bill to keep your home safe as a few motion lights will often do the trick. The nice thing about these is that they also alert you when someone is approaching, giving you a heads up.
Have someone tend to your house whenever you’re away. A group of newspapers lying in the drive, an overflowing mailbox, and empty trash cans sitting out front well past trash day are all signs that a home’s owners are away. Have family, friends, or neighbors stop by every day or so to take care of these things so it’s more difficult to tell whether you’re home or gone.
Don’t share your upcoming plans on social media. These days, it isn’t uncommon for people to post pictures from all of the amazing places they choose to go. This is a great way to stay in touch with people you love, but it’s also a great way to advertise that your home is empty…and that you won’t be back for a while. Wait until you get back to post your pics and you can share your experiences without putting your home and property at risk.
Criminals tend to prefer easy targets. By doing these five things, you’ll make your home harder—thus less appealing—to hit.