Protect Your Home: 15 Warning Signs Burglars Look For | Home Security Insights

We want you to picture this – it’s a sunny afternoon in Sydney, you’ve just come home from a bustling day at work, and as you step into your house, you notice something’s off. Your heart starts to pound as you realise that your sanctuary, your personal space, has been invaded. It’s a scenario that none of us would want to experience. Yet, it happens all too often. Home security is more than just a phrase – it’s a necessity.

We all understand the importance of feeling safe, especially within the four walls of our homes. A sound home security system is like a silent guardian that stands watch, providing peace of mind for you and your family. But even the best security system can only do so much if we overlook the simple vulnerabilities that make our homes an easy target for burglars.

This article will discuss a handful of these vulnerabilities, the tell-tale signs that your home might be an attractive option for burglars. Some of these might seem obvious, like leaving a window open, but others can be less apparent, like overgrown landscaping. These often-overlooked factors can make the difference between a safe, secure home and an easy target.

So, whether you’re in Perth, Adelaide, or a small town in Queensland, these tips apply to you. After all, home security is a universal concern, one that deserves our attention. So, let’s dive in and explore how we can make our homes safer, starting today.

No Visible Security System

Ever notice that uneasy feeling when walking down a street late at night and you pass a home with no visible security system? If you’re feeling that, imagine what a potential burglar might feel. Like a moth to a flame, they’re drawn to opportunities. And a house without any visible security measures? That’s one big, shiny opportunity.

Imagine for a moment you’re in the shoes of a burglar (not something most of us want to do, I know, but stay with me). You’re walking down a quiet street in suburban Melbourne or Brisbane, assessing your options. To your right, there’s a house with a cutting-edge CCTV system, the cameras panning back and forth, covering every possible angle. To your left, a house with no cameras, no alarm box, nothing. Which one would you pick? The answer’s pretty clear, isn’t it?

A visible home security system is one of the most effective deterrents for burglars. It’s the equivalent of a big, fat ‘keep out’ sign. So, if you don’t have one yet, it might be time to consider investing in one.

Unlocked Doors and Windows

We’ve all done it. Left a window cracked open for fresh air, or dashed out to the shops, leaving the back door unlocked. After all, what are the chances of something happening in those few minutes? Well, you might be surprised.

In 2022, an Australian home security company survey found that 30% of burglaries occurred through an unlocked door or window. It takes less time than you’d think for a burglar to slip in, grab something valuable, and slip out again. And those few minutes you were away? That’s plenty of time.

The moral of the story is simple. Don’t make it easy for them. Even if you’re only popping out for a moment, lock up. It may seem like a hassle, but it’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing your home is secure.

Poor Outdoor Lighting

Picture this. It’s late at night, and the street is bathed in darkness. The only light comes from the occasional flicker of a far-off street lamp. It sounds like a scene from a horror movie, doesn’t it? But for a burglar, this is the perfect setting for a real-life crime.

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Poor outdoor lighting is a burglar’s best friend. It provides cover, allowing them to approach your home unseen. If the outside of your home is poorly lit, you may as well roll out the red carpet for unwanted guests.

That’s where good outdoor lighting comes in. Motion sensor lights are a great option. They’ll startle any potential burglars, likely causing them to think twice about targeting your home. Plus, they’ll make you feel safer when coming home late at night.

A well-lit home is a safe home. So, if your outdoor lighting is lacking, it might be time for an upgrade.

Overgrown Landscaping

Have you ever walked past a house with a jungle-like front yard? Bushes gone wild, trees towering over the property, shrubs spilling over the pathway – it’s a sight to behold, isn’t it? But as captivating as it might be, a garden gone rogue is a dream come true for burglars.

Think about it. Overgrown landscaping can provide the perfect cover for a sneaky intruder. They can easily hide behind a large bush or blend into the shadows under a towering tree while observing your home unseen. It’s like a scene straight out of a crime thriller.

So, if your garden is starting to resemble a mini rainforest, it might be time to get your gardening gloves on. Regular maintenance enhances your home’s curb appeal and boosts your home security by eliminating potential hiding spots. In other words, a well-tended garden is your first defence against burglars.

Exposed Valuables

We’ve all seen those flashy homes with luxury cars in the driveway, designer furniture visible through the window, and high-end electronics practically on display. It’s hard not to look, right? If you’re noticing these things, you can bet burglars are too.

Leaving valuable items in plain sight is like setting out bait for potential thieves. It’s a visual advertisement of what’s inside your home, making it a tantalising target for burglars. So, keeping your valuables out of sight from prying eyes is essential.

Consider investing in blinds or curtains for your windows, keeping expensive items away from view. And maybe think twice before leaving your brand-new bike in the front yard. After all, out of sight is out of mind, even for burglars.

No Evidence of Occupancy

Picture a quiet street. The houses are silent, the yards are still, and no soul is in sight. It’s peaceful, right? But for a burglar, this serene scene is an open invitation.

Homes that appear unoccupied are prime targets for burglars. They provide an opportunity to break in undisturbed, with less risk of being caught in the act. And it’s not just long-term absences that pose a risk. Even a short weekend getaway can leave your home vulnerable if no signs of occupancy exist.

So, what can you do? Simple things like cancelling mail and newspaper deliveries when you’re away, can make a big difference. You might also consider setting timers for lights or radio to create the illusion of activity.

And if you have a trusted neighbour, let them know when you’re away. They can keep an eye on your property and report any suspicious activity. After all, there’s strength in numbers regarding home security.

Lack of Neighbourhood Watch

“Good fences make good neighbours,” Robert Frost once wrote. But when it comes to home security, it might be better to say, “Vigilant neighbours make safe neighbourhoods.” Indeed, a lack of community vigilance can significantly increase the risk of burglary.

Neighbourhood Watch programs have long been a cornerstone of community safety. These groups made up of everyday residents, keep an eye out for suspicious activity and work closely with local law enforcement. The mere presence of an active Neighbourhood Watch can make potential burglars think twice before targeting your area.

But without this community vigilance, your neighbourhood becomes more attractive to thieves. It’s like a herd of gazelles: the one with no one keeping watch is the one the lion targets. So, consider talking to your neighbours about starting a Neighbourhood Watch if there isn’t one already. Remember, it takes a village to keep a home secure.

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Mail Overflow

Picture a mailbox stuffed with letters, catalogues, and bills. It’s a familiar sight when homeowners are away, isn’t it? But an overflowing mailbox is more than just a sign of an absent homeowner – it’s a beacon for burglars.

An overflowing mailbox sends a clear message: nobody’s home. And to a burglar, an empty home is an easy target. They can take their quiet time to pick locks, disable security systems, and make off with your valuables.

That’s why, if you’re going away, even for a short while, it’s essential to manage your mail. Ask a neighbour to collect it or request a hold on delivery from Australia Post. Keeping your mailbox from overflowing is a small step that can make a big difference in your home security.

Easily Accessible Windows

Windows: they let in the light, provide a view, and, unfortunately, can sometimes offer an easy entry point for burglars. Ground floor and easily accessible windows, in particular, can be a burglar’s best friend.

Burglars are opportunists. They look for the path of least resistance, and an unlocked or accessible window fits the bill perfectly. It’s a quick, quiet way in and out of your home, especially if it’s concealed from the street by trees or shrubs.

That’s why it’s crucial to secure all your windows, not just the ones on the upper floors. Reinforce them with security film, install window locks, or consider adding window sensors as part of your home security system. Remember, a secure home is where all entry points, including windows, are well-protected.

Lack of Privacy Fencing

In Australia, we love our open spaces. We relish our connection with our surroundings, neighbours, and beautiful Aussie scenery. Yet, this openness can sometimes come at a cost, particularly regarding our home’s security.

A lack of privacy fencing can make your home more visible to potential burglars. It’s like putting your home on display, showing off all the potential entry points and any security measures you have in place (or don’t have). This visibility can be especially problematic in an area with high foot traffic, where plenty of wandering eyes can scope your property.

Adding a privacy fence doesn’t mean you have to create a fortress around your home. Plenty of stylish, welcoming options can enhance your property’s aesthetic while improving security. And if a full fence isn’t possible, consider adding strategic plantings or screens that block the view of windows and doors. It’s all about making it harder for a potential burglar to assess your home at a glance.

Garage Doors Left Open

We’ve all done it—left the garage door open while running a quick errand or getting distracted by a phone call. While it might seem harmless, leaving your garage door open can provide easy access to burglars.

Your garage isn’t just a place to park your car; it’s often a gateway to the rest of your home. Plus, it houses valuable items like tools, bikes, and sometimes even pricey electronics. An open garage door is like an open invitation for burglars—an easy access point that allows them to grab what they can and quickly escape.

So, make it a habit to close your garage door, even if you’re just stepping away for a few minutes. And consider adding your garage to your home security system with sensors on the doors and perhaps even a camera inside.

No Security Signs

While a home security system is a powerful deterrent for burglars, the system’s visibility can be equally important. This is where security signs and stickers come into play.

A lack of security signs or stickers can make a home more appealing to burglars. Think of it this way—if a burglar is scoping out two houses, one with clear security signage and the other without, which do you think they’ll target?

Security signs act as an initial layer of defence, signalling to potential burglars that your home is protected. Even if you don’t have a security system, a few well-placed signs could make a burglar think twice before attempting to break in.

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Remember, the goal of home security isn’t just to catch burglars—it’s to prevent them from trying in the first place. A few security signs could be all it takes to make your home a less attractive target.

Quiet Neighbourhood

Living in a quiet neighbourhood can be a dream come true for many Aussies. The peace, tranquillity, and sense of community can make it feel like the perfect place to call home. However, these qualities can sometimes make your home an attractive target for burglars.

Burglars often prefer to operate in low-traffic areas where there’s less chance of being spotted by passers-by or interrupted by neighbouring activity. The serenity of a quiet neighbourhood can offer the perfect cover. There’s less noise to mask the sound of a break-in, fewer eyes to spot a stranger, and often more space between houses, providing burglars the time and privacy they need to work.

This isn’t to say you should trade your peaceful cul-de-sac for a bustling city street, but rather to remind you of the importance of a reliable home security system, even (or especially) in quiet neighbourhoods. Regularly checking and maintaining your security measures, knowing your neighbours, and staying vigilant can help keep your sanctuary safe.

Frequent Social Media Posting While Away

We’re a nation of globetrotters, us Australians. We love a good holiday, and in the age of social media, we love to share our adventures in real time with our friends, family, and followers. Yet, this can unwittingly turn your home into a target for burglars.

Posting on social media while you’re away can alert burglars that your home is unoccupied. Each beach selfie, snap of a sunset, or check-in at a distant locale is a signal that you’re not home. And savvy burglars have been known to trawl social media for such signs.

But you don’t have to give up sharing your holiday highlights. The trick is to do so wisely. Consider waiting until you’re back home to post your travel pics. Or, at the very least, ensure your social media accounts are private so only trusted friends and family can see your posts. Better still, ensure you have a solid home security system in place, so even if you’re soaking up the sun on the Gold Coast, you’ll know your home in Melbourne is secure.

Conclusion

We’ve covered quite a bit of ground in this post, haven’t we? From the hidden risks of quiet neighbourhoods to the unintended invitations we might be sending burglars through our social media posts, it’s clear that keeping a home safe requires a bit more than just locking the doors at night.

But don’t worry; it’s not all doom and gloom. You can take plenty of actionable steps to bolster your home’s security and make it far less attractive to potential burglars. Here’s a quick recap:

  • Install a visible home security system. This alone can be a significant deterrent for most would-be burglars.
  • Ensure doors and windows are locked, even when you’re at home.
  • Keep outdoor lighting in good order. A well-lit property is less appealing to burglars.
  • Maintain your landscaping. Overgrown shrubs and trees can offer hiding spots.
  • Don’t flaunt your valuables where they can be easily seen from outside.
  • Make your home appear occupied even when you’re away. Use timers for lights, and don’t let your mail pile up.
  • Establish a neighbourhood watch if there isn’t one already in place.
  • Be mindful of your privacy settings when posting on social media, especially when away.

Remember, the aim of these measures isn’t to turn your home into a fortress but to make it a less attractive target than other potential options for burglars. By implementing these tips and investing in a robust home security system, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring your home remains your safe haven. Keep safe, Australia!