1. Newspapers in a driveway and flyers on doors leave the impression that no one is home or that homeowners are on vacation.  Always remove these quickly.
  2. Keep your landscaping neat and trimmed. Not only does this indicate that you’re present but it eliminates hiding places for would-be burglars.
  3. Use timers for indoor and outdoor lights if you come home late or plan to be away from your home for a few days.
  4. Don’t leave empty boxes from purchases near the curb. An empty flat screen TV box simply tells burglars what you have…instead break the boxes down and deposit them in a recycle bin.   This is especially important at Christmas time.
  5. Don’t leave ladders out where burglars can use them. Make it as difficult as possible for them to enter your home.
  6. Don’t broadcast your movement on social media. You never know who’s watching your accounts and you don’t want to let them know when your home is unattended.
  7. Leave your TV on when you’re not home or in bed. It indicates that someone is home and awake and deters burglars.  There are timers you can purchase to activate your television when you’re not home.
  8. If you can’t afford an alarm system purchase security decals on line and place them on doors and windows.
  9. If you’re loading suitcases into your vehicle for a trip, do it while the vehicle is in a garage out of sight. Again, you don’t want to advertise that your home will be insecure.
  10. Reinforce your door jam. Most locks are installed with simple 1’ or 1 ½’ screws.  Remove these and reinstall with 3’ screws.  It makes it incredibly difficult to kick a door in.
  11. If you have sliding glass doors or windows use a large dowel rod or a cut off broomstick in the tracks to prevent the door from opening.
  12. Buy a can of window frost to obscure the view into your home. Most of the doors in this neighborhood are large with multiple windows, a simple frost spray prevents anyone from seeing into your home.
  13. Build a secret hiding place for your valuables. There’s an endless array of options to purchase from the famous fake soup can to hidden compartments inside shelves and headboards.
  14. Use curtains and blinds to block the view of your interior. Don’t advertise what you have.
  15. Plant large thorny bushes under windows. It not only prevents burglars from looking in…it deters them from breaking through a window.
  16. Can’t afford a security system? The Dollar Store sells window sensors.  I buy them in bulk.  The batteries last a really long time and the noise is loud enough to wake a neighbor if the window is opened while the sensor is on.
  17. Keep doors and windows shut and locked…this includes garage doors. 30% of burglaries are non-forced entry.  Someone simply left a door or window open which allowed someone else entry to your home.
  18. Turn on your porch light! Burglars will always choose a darkened house over a well-lit house.
  19. Lock the linking door! The garage door is the second most common entry point for burglars so always keep the linking door into your hall or kitchen locked and dead bolted.
  20. Shred your mail! Steeplechase is one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Hope Mills, and as such, a target.  Thieves won’t simply target our homes, but our mails.  Shred anything with an account number, personal information, and credit card offers.  It helps prevent identity theft but burglars will also check your trash to see if your home is worth burglarizing.
  21. Don’t leave extra keys where they can be found and used. We use to keep our spare key in a magnetized box attached to the inside of the grill in the back yard.  (It’s no longer there!).  It meant we’d have to scale the locked fence to retrieve it, but it also made it harder for a burglar to find it and use it.
  22. Invite a trusted neighbor to park in your driveway if you travel. It gives the illusion of someone being home.