Home security has never been more critical than it is today. According to the most recent statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2022, there were over 1.4 million burglaries reported in the United States alone. Burglars are becoming increasingly cunning, employing a wide range of tactics to determine if a home is vacant before making their move. In this article, we will explore the top 10 tricks burglars use to assess whether you are home or away, and provide valuable insights on how to protect your home and loved ones.
I. Knock and Wait
One of the oldest tricks burglars use is the simple act of knocking on your door. Burglars may pose as delivery personnel, lost neighbors, or solicitors, hoping to gauge your response. If there is no answer, they may interpret it as an empty house.
To counteract this, it’s essential to exercise caution when opening your door to strangers. Consider installing a peephole or a video doorbell to see who is at your doorstep without actually opening the door. If someone appears suspicious, do not hesitate to call the police.
II. Surveying the Property
Another one of the tricks burglars use is that they often take time to survey the property before attempting a break-in. They may look for signs of life, such as lights, movement, or noise inside the house. A vacant house with no signs of activity becomes a more tempting target.
To thwart this tactic, make your property appear active even when you’re not home. Install motion-activated lights, keep curtains partially open, and use timers for lights and radios to create the illusion of presence.
III. Checking for Visible Signs
Burglars pay close attention to visible signs that a house is unattended. This includes overgrown lawns, piled-up newspapers, or an overflowing mailbox. These indicators suggest that the homeowners are away.
To avoid this giveaway, ask a trusted neighbor to collect your mail and newspapers while you’re on vacation. Consider hiring a lawn service to maintain your yard in your absence.
IV. Listening for Noise
An unusual silence in your home can signal to burglars that there’s nobody inside. They may listen for sounds of conversation, TV, or even pets. A quiet house can be an irresistible target.
To counteract this, leave a TV or radio on at a low volume when you’re not home. The noise will make it seem like someone is inside, deterring potential burglars.
V. Analyzing Lights and Shadows
Burglars are known to observe the patterns of lighting in a home. One of the tricks burglars use is that they may watch for consistently dark homes during the evenings, indicating an empty house. Conversely, a well-lit home may suggest someone is present.
To outsmart burglars, invest in smart home lighting systems. These allow you to control your lights remotely, giving the appearance of an occupied home. Timers can also be an effective way to vary lighting schedules.
VI. Monitoring Social Media
In the digital age, burglars have found a new tool to assess your whereabouts—social media. Posting vacation photos or announcing your absence on platforms like Facebook or Instagram can be an open invitation for thieves.
To safeguard your home, be cautious about sharing your travel plans online. Adjust your privacy settings to limit who can see your posts, and save the vacation pictures for when you return.
VII. Vehicles as Indicators
Burglars often watch for the presence or absence of vehicles in the driveway or near the home. A lack of cars can be a clear sign that no one is home.
To combat this, ask a neighbor or friend to park their car in your driveway while you’re away, or consider investing in a smart garage door opener that can be controlled remotely.
VIII. False Alarms and Deception
Burglars are well-versed in checking for security systems and alarms. They may attempt to trigger false alarms or deceive homeowners into disabling their security measures.
To thwart this tactic, regularly maintain your security system and ensure it is visible. Display signs or stickers indicating that your home is protected by an alarm system. Additionally, consider installing security cameras that can be accessed remotely, allowing you to verify potential threats in real-time.
IX. Mail and Packages
A pile of uncollected mail and packages on your doorstep can be an open invitation to burglars. They interpret this as a clear sign that you’re not at home.
To combat this, request a neighbor or friend to collect your mail and packages while you’re away. Alternatively, you can have your mail temporarily held at the post office or use package delivery services that allow you to schedule delivery for when you’re back.
X. Suspicious Solicitation
Burglars often pose as salespeople, utility workers, or service providers to gain access to your home. They may use this disguise to assess your security measures and the layout of your property.
Protect yourself by asking for identification from anyone claiming to be a service provider. Verify their credentials with the respective company. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to contact the company directly to confirm the visit.
Safeguard Your Sanctuary By Defending Against Tricks Burglars Use
In a world where crime knows no boundaries, protecting your home is a top priority. Burglars employ a variety of tricks to determine if you’re home or away, but by staying informed and taking proactive measures, you can fortify your defenses. Remember, it’s not about living in fear but about living with awareness. By implementing the strategies outlined above, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to burglary and ensure your home remains a safe haven for you and your loved ones. Stay vigilant, stay safe, and stay secure.