7 Ways to Check if Your House is Vulnerable to Burglars

By famsecmatters •  Updated: 05/06/21 •  6 min read

The best way to check how vulnerable your house is to burglars is to be aware of what burglars look for in a home and why they decide to rob one place and skip another. 

Thieves are interested in three things when they pick their next victim; easy access to the house, low visibility from the street, and signs you are on vacation. They usually drive through neighborhoods to identify these homes. 

Burglars want to carry out a break-in as quickly as possible. That’s why they look for key elements to secure an easy target. If you want to know how to learn if your home is vulnerable to burglars, look for these signs and follow our tips to help safeguard your loved ones and possessions.   

Check the Crime Rate in Your Neighborhood

This is the first thing you can do to check how vulnerable your house is. Even if you have lived in a neighborhood for years, you might be unaware of the number of home robberies committed each month. You can contact your local police department for information about crime mapping in your area. 

Being aware of the number of home robberies in your area is also essential when moving into a new home. Many criminals choose newer neighborhoods, hoping to take advantage of people who aren’t familiar with the area. If you’re new to a community, chatting with your neighbors can provide helpful insight into previous incidents.

How Accessible Are Your Doors and Windows

The first feature burglars look for in a home is easy access. They want to enter the house quickly and do the deed in under 10 minutes if possible

Front doors and windows

You should always lock your front door, even if you live in a very safe neighborhood. Don’t hide a spare key under the doormat or a nearby pot because thieves can quickly identify these spots. 

During summer, make sure you close street-level windows when you’re not home. Most burglars don’t want to take the time to climb onto your roof, so street-level access is a big draw when they’re scouting. 

Pros and cons of fences

In general, fences make a home more secure by blocking access and reducing visibility from the street. However, the potential downside to fencing is that burglars want to avoid being seen, so your fence gives them a protective shield from passersby. Trees or bushes can also provide the cover they need to break in undetected, so ensure these are trimmed. 

Are Your Doors Secure? 

The type of lock on your door is also an essential consideration. In general, deadbolt locks are the most reliable because they are more challenging for thieves to open. A secure lock can deter burglars who don’t want to waste time. 

People often overlook the insecurity of doors with glass. Thieves can break them quickly and put their arms through the opening to unlock the door. When you have a glass front door, an alarm system with a glass break sensor is essential

In addition to a solid door lock, an alarm system is an effective way of making your house more secure. Many people also install an alarm system sticker or sign on their front porch or window, even if they don’t have one. This practice works as a simple and inexpensive theft deterrent. 

To improve the security of your doors, consider increasing their sturdiness and making them more difficult for a thief to break down. You can do this by replacing the screws on the metal place with longer three-inch screws. Also, do this for the rest of the screws on the door hinge. 

How Visible is Your Home?

Many criminals choose houses that are not visible from the road or neighboring homes. For example, a home on a street with plenty of activity and traffic makes it more difficult for a burglar to enter unnoticed. 

Even though a high number of burglars choose daylight to act, many burglars prefer the low visibility of nightfall to break into a house. Something as simple as installing lights on your porch can act as a deterrent. If you don’t want to spend the extra money on electricity bills, you can install lights with motion sensors

Do You Have a Dog?

It’s universally known that a large dog is an excellent way of making your home more secure. However, small dogs can also be helpful anti-theft devices as long as they are loud. A very inexpensive option is to install a sign indicating a dog’s presence in your front yard or gate. For example, a “beware of Rottweiler” sign can be very effective. 

Check Your Mailbox

One of the things that burglars look for is that no one is in the house while the robbery happens, and a full mailbox is a clear sign that you are away. It might tempt a thief to start investigating and monitoring your home for a future break-in

If you are on vacation, ask someone in the neighborhood to pick up your mail while you are away. You can also contact your local post office and request they hold your mail until you return.  

Is Your Yard Well-Kept? 

The state of the front yard is also one indicator burglars use to decide whether to rob a house. A well-kept and clean front yard with freshly cut grass is a clear sign that someone is currently living there. Overgrown lawns and hedges help burglars determine how long you’ve been away. You can pay someone to keep cutting your grass while you’re out of town to avoid tipping off potential thieves. 

Start Improving Your Home’s Security Today

If you think your home might be vulnerable to burglars, take action today and improve its security. This can be as simple as taking better care of your lawn or upgrading the security of your home with new locks and an alarm system or motion detector lights

Some extra tips for making your home more secure include leaving evidence of your dog in the front yard, such as a water bowl and hiding valuable possessions from window view.

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