Most often, burglaries are crimes of opportunity. On average, burglars take about 60 seconds to break into a home and are done in 8-10 minutes, especially in warmer months. Follow these tips to help prevent a warm-weather burglary from happening to you:
Since a burglar’s primary goal is to enter and exit your residence without being detected, you’ll want to minimize the ability for them to hide while surveilling an entry-point.
Plants & Bushes
Keep bushes and trees trimmed as much as possible, and avoid planting them within six feet from your doors and windows. This way, both you and neighbors will have a clear view of the perimeter of your home. If you feel your home needs shrubbery directly in front of windows, opt for a thorny plant. Since time is of the essence for a burglar, they won’t want to get stuck delicately climbing through a painful bush!
Stones & Gravel
No matter what, avoid large stones and boulders on your property. These offer convenient stepping stones for burglars to hoist themselves into higher perched windows. Opt for gravel on your walkways, which offer a loud “crunch” each time someone walks on them. A simple sound can deter thieves, since it can alert homeowners someone is approaching.
While fencing is great for offering privacy while you’re inside, it also provides privacy for a burglar. Choose fencing that’s open enough to provide visibility, or low enough to ensure someone within the property lines can be seen entering and exiting. Opaque options like brick walls should always be avoided.
Secure Outdoor Toys, Tools & Trash
Summer is a common time to spruce up your property, opt for new household purchases, and put those lawn tools back to work. Unfortunately, theft on your property isn’t limited to inside your residence.
Put Away Valuables
Never leave valuables lying in plain sight. Bikes, tools, or even visible trash can lure thieves onto your property. This is especially important when using ladders, since they can offer access to a second floor window.
Place any outdoor items inside your garage or shed as soon as you’re done with them, and never leave any boxes outside your trash cans. Instead, break the box down and place it within your garbage can.
Lock Your Car
Make it a habit to keep your car locked unless you're getting into or out of it. Whenever possible, keep your garage remote on you or hidden from sight in your car. If the garage door opener is in your vehicle, always keep the door between your house and garage locked.
Be Smart With Windows & Doors
Burglars don’t like to spend too much time breaking into a home, so making the task as difficult as possible is key.
You’ll want to install jams on windows and sliding doors, as well as solid deadbolts on your door. One of the easiest ways for a burglar to get in your house is through a sliding glass door, so place a dowel in the track. If a burglar is given the opportunity to enter through a door or window that hasn’t been locked, sensors like Notion can alert you to their comings and goings, giving you an opportunity to respond.
Never keep a spare key hidden outside your property. Leaving a key hidden in a faux rock or under a flower pot or doormat is an open invitation to enter your home with little effort. If you need spare keys, consider installing a smart lock with a keypad.