Smart criminals love dumb homeowners, but even a dumb burglar can score big when the homeowner makes just a little slip in security measures.
1. Don't nickel-and-dime your door locks; get high quality locks. A cheap lock is cheap.
2. Don't hide keys. Anyone knows to check under the flower pot or on top of the ledge above the door frame. Consider a keyless lock.
3. Make sure valuables aren't visible through windows-including those of your car.
4. Flatten boxes that valuables came in like flat screen TVs so that you can then put them in large garbage bags, then put those out for trash pickup. Don't tip off the bad guys what you have in your house.
5. Imagine you're a burglar...or rapist...on the prowl looking for an easy crime opportunity. You're jiggling one doorknob after another in a neighborhood, knowing that sooner or later, you'll find an unlocked door. Why oh why, then, would you try to break through a locked door? Homeowners need to see things from the perspective of the bad guy. LOCK YOUR DOORS! Stop making excuses: "I keep forgetting," "It's a hassle," "I'm going in and out."
6. Keep your house alarm on-because some intruders will try to break through a locked door-or get in through a window. The second he penetrates, the alarm will emit a piercing sound that will instantly drive him away. But keep the alarm on even when you're home. Yes, sociopaths think nothing of breaking in during the day.
7. Keep your garage door locked at all times except during the seconds it's in use.
8. Used timed lighters inside and out so that your place is never dark.
9. Don't leave any ladders in the yard.
10. Don't post anything on social media that indicates you're away from home.
11. For when you're away on trips, arrange for a vacation hold of your mail and newspaper deliveries.
12. To increase an occupied-look to your house while you're traveling, have a trusted person park his car in your driveway and mow your lawn (overgrowth suggests vacancy).