While it’s true that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, there is a lot of value in paying great attention to the way others view your home. When discussing home security, the conversation usually centers around the actions that should be taken and the services/tools that can be purchased to beef up security. However, when it comes to your home’s appearance and how it may be hurting rather than helping your house’s security, it’s also important to consider what visual changes should be made – and what behaviors you should alter – in order to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Because neglect – or the visual impression that a property is being neglected – can invite unwanted attention from thieves and vandals, it’s crucial to make small changes to your home’s appearance to better protect you and your property. Here are a few examples of how your property’s curbside appeal may be compromising its security.
Build-up of mail and flyers
If you get mail delivered straight to your door or to a mailbox that’s located on your property and you seldom check your mail, an overflow of received mail and flyers can signal to thieves that little care is being taken to maintain your home, which may lead them to believe that no one is around to stop a crime from happening. According to FamilyHandyman.com, some thieves may even leave flyers in your front door as a litmus test to see how long it takes before you remove it. The longer it takes you to remove built up mail, packages, and flyers, the more likely thieves and vandals may target your home.
Overgrown or unkempt yard
While it’s true that not everyone has a green thumb, the presence of dead or wilted flowers in a front yard can signal to thieves and vandals that the homeowners aren’t around. The same goes for unmowed lawns and overgrown bushes. So while it may be a pain to regularly maintain your garden and yard, the benefits of a well-manicured green space outweigh the potential break-in that a neglected lawn can invite.
Neglecting seasonal debris
Whether it’s fallen leaves of autumn dappling your lawn or fresh snow coating your driveway, seasonal debris can be a beautiful reminder of the passage of time – that is, unless you neglect to clean it up. By leaving leaves or snow on your driveway and lawn, you are sending visual confirmation to criminals that your home is being neglected, thereby inviting them to target your property for break-ins and vandalism.
Limiting criminals’ visual access to your routines
Criminals tend to stake out their intended targets for extended periods of time before finally moving on to the actual crime. In this time, they can pick up on your normal routines to better understand when is the best time to strike. However, you can thwart their attempts to observe your routines by partially closing the blinds during the day to let light in while limiting their visual access to the goings on in your home. Come nighttime, it’s a good idea to fully draw the blinds so that they can no longer see you and the interior of your home when you turn the lights on. And, in the event that you go on vacation, it’s recommended that you enlist the help of a friend or relative to maintain this routine for you so that the visuals from outside your home remain consistent.
By paying more attention to how others perceive your home, you may be able to boost your home’s security and sleep better at night knowing that you did all you could to prevent your home from being targeted by thieves.
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