According to the latest FBI statistics for 2015 there were an estimated 8,277,829 property crimes (burglaries, larceny-thefts, and motor vehicle thefts) reported by law enforcement. Financial losses suffered by victims of these crimes were calculated at approximately $14.3 billion.  What types of things can you do to prevent being one of the statistics in the future?  Here are 10 mistakes that might prevent you from not only suffering the financial implications but also the feeling of personal security that is taken as well.

#1 Hiding a key anywhere outside is a big “no-no”.

If everyone knows to look under the front door mat a thief, who is experienced in getting into homes, knows this as well.  Any other “decorative rocks” or items to mask hiding a key they also know to look for.  If you need to hide a key outside, bury it in a plastic bag but remember where you buried it!

#2 Forgetting to lock the garage door is also an easy target for thieves.

If one can easily open the garage door and the house door to the garage is unlocked it is an easy access.  They also have access to pull a vehicle in, close the door and secretly load up your stuff and be gone before anyone knows they have been there.  If the inside door is locked with a security lock they may move on to your neighbors house!

#3 Using cheap window and door locks are an invitation to break in.

With most burglaries the thieves know exactly how to get through cheap locks.  If they have to work harder to get it open it is riskier for them to be caught so they will likely give up and move along.

#4 Not having enough outdoor lighting is also an open invitation to break in.

If a thief has no spotlight on their efforts they can take their time with less risk of getting caught.  A well lit yard, with entrances fully illuminated are a deterrent to thieves.

#5 If you are relying on your dog to be your security, you had best think again unless you have a professionally trained guard dog.

Most dogs can easily be persuaded with a steak or even a tennis ball and if your dog is like most they would likely invite the stranger in to share some kibble, just for the company!  Your dog will likely not deter hardened criminals that are going to break into your house if they are motivated to get your big screen.

#6 Sharing your vacation photos while you are away on Social Media is an open invitation to anyone that wants to have open access to your home.

You are announcing to the world that your home is empty and if it is not, you are putting your house-sitter at risk.  You might think that you know all of your friends and trust them, but do you know all of your friends, “friends” on Facebook or Twitter?  Most people have no idea the reach that Social Media has and it is best to wait until you get home to post your escapades.

#7 Don’t forget to stop the mail and newspaper delivery or have a friend or neighbor pick it up for you.

Letting newspapers pile up by the front door or in the driveway is another open invitation for anyone that is paying attention to know you aren’t home.

#8 Look into a professional home security system or make use of the many surveillance and security applications that can be utilized with smart devices.

There is a price range to fit every budget and complexity of installation, as well. There really isn’t a good excuse to NOT have additional security systems in place in your home with today’s market availability.

#9 Leaving valuables in plain site or leaving the evidence of your new high tech appliances or technology in the trash or by the curb is a big mistake.

If you just purchased a $4,000 new Apple computer it isn’t wise to leave the box by your curb on trash day. Dump that box in an apartment or business dumpster instead.  Many times purses or wallets are stolen from cars because they are left in the front seat in plane view…even with locked doors thieves have tools that can have them in and out of your car in seconds and at the mall purchasing a fur coat on your credit card in minutes.

#10 Stay aware and abreast of not only your personal surroundings but your neighborhood, as well.

Many people get complacent and stop paying attention to details as they go about their daily lives.  Keep up to date on crime statistics in your community, join your HOA or start a crime watcher group. Try to look at your home or neighborhood like a criminal would and look for the possible breaches in security. Paying attention, mitigating potential problems and staying in communication with neighbors will help you stay safe and secure.

Just for a BONUS we will give you #11

DON’T FORGET TO RE-KEY YOUR NEW HOME!

When you move into a new place whether you are renting or purchased it is essential that you re-key your entire house and change your garage code.  You never know who might have had access to your home and if there were contractors that had a duplicate key. For your safety and your families, call us and we can come out and re-key the entire house for an affordable rate. Call Pop-A-Lock today. (317) 635-5625