One of the primary concerns people have when moving to a new neighborhood is how safe the neighborhood is. Unfortunately, your house can be a target for a break-in even in the most quiet of places. Even though most of the first world countries, such as Australia or Germany (but excluding the USA) have comparatively low crime rates, you are never completely protected. If you have children, their safety is probably the most important thing for you, so you have an extra reason to keep your house safe. However, the burglars will not be after your children (in the vast majority of cases at least), but after the valuable and easy-to-sell things you own. TVs, computers, jewelry, and money are the prime targets that make your house attractive to intruders, so you need to make sure your house doesn’t look like an easy target. Here are some suggestions on how to make your home less tempting for an average burglar.

1. Make your yard not burglar-friendly

First of all, make sure the potential intruder doesn’t have an easy way to approach your front door. You need to discourage them from moving into your yard first, and the easiest way to do that is to make sure you see everything that’s going on there from your windows. Make sure that all the tall shrubs or clusters of trees are as far away from the house as possible so that nobody can hide on the way from the street to your door. The same goes for all the other potential hiding spaces, including large waste bins and anything else that can provide a shelter from curious glances.

2. Make sure everything is well lit

Once the thief has moved through your yard, he’ll find himself on your doorstep, so you’ll need to make an effort to discourage him or her from moving on. To do so, you should make sure that your front door is well lit. The best option is definitely installing motion sensor lights around your house. There are multiple benefits, from energy efficiency to scaring off wildlife, but the most important one is that it will be a great deterrent for anybody intent on breaking in. Additionally, it’ll work as a warning for you as well - if it suddenly turns on, it’s a sign there’s something out there that’s probably worth checking.

3. Always lock your doors and windows

It’s one of the most obvious things to do, but also one of the most neglected ones. Even though it’s usually safe to leave the windows on the upper floors open, be mindful of the ones on the ground floor, even in the middle of the day. Make a point of locking your doors at all times, and even lock your gate, no matter how small or insignificant you may think it is. There is a wide variety of gate locks in Australia and other “safer” countries as well. If the gate is locked, the thief will have no other option than to go over it, which looks suspicious and is likely to alarm your neighbors if they see it.

4. Visibility is the key

Make sure you are able to see everything while giving the intruder a very limited source of information. Other than the lighting we discussed previously, you can use peepholes and blinds to your advantage. Peepholes are highly important because they give you the chance to find out who is at your doorstep before you open the door, and they come in more modernized options as well as the traditional ones. Blinds are useful because they don’t allow the intruder to see where you are, or the organization of your home, which puts them in a less advantageous position.

5. Don’t label the keys

If you have many personal keys it might seem like a good idea to you that you should label them. However, that’s the worst possible idea, because if you lose them, the one who finds them would know exactly where to pick up what. In case you really have a lot of them, you can color code them, but don’t put the same colors on the corresponding locks, because you are risking it again.

Another thing to remember when it comes to your keys is to avoid leaving the spare ones outside your house. You can give them to your friends and family, but never leave them under the mat, in a fake rock etc. The burglars already know all of those tricks, and even some advanced and more creative ones, so forget about those life hacks and be safe.

6. Install a home security system

Home security alarm systems provide a plethora of advantages. Firstly, they make everything safer, because the moment somebody enters your home the police are notified. Secondly, they give you a sense of protection and safety, which is very important for everyone’s peace of mind. There are additional benefits, like the increase in your property value, but the most important thing is that such systems are actually a really important deterrent for criminals. Why would somebody target a protected house, if there are many unprotected ones?

7. Get to know your neighbors

Neighbors are quite useful in this context. No matter how careful you are with the preventive measures, you’ll have to leave your house at one point, and then it’ll be at its most vulnerable. If you are in a good relationship with your neighbors, you can ask them to pay attention to the activities around the house and report anything suspicious. This way, your house is somewhat protected even if you are not there yourself.

8. The warning signs

Thinking like a burglar, you would probably look for an easy target. No thief would risk getting attacked and knocked down by a Doberman, would they? So, even if you don’t have a dog or you have a small yapping chihuahua, you should put up a “Beware of the dog” sign on your door or fence. You can even go a step further and display a huge water or feeding bowl in the yard, just to make sure.

Another sign to consider displaying is the home security one. It is smart to install a home security camera and alarms, so make sure you put up the stickers on your doors and windows just as a precaution for the burglars not to mess with your home.

Being safe should be everyone’s prime concern, but we often forget that we and our property can be threatened. By going through with these simple adjustments to your home, you can at least make your home less appealing to any law-breakers who can potentially target it.

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