“An Ounce Of Prevention Is Better Than A Pound Of Cure”: Benjamin Franklin
A recent article in a monthly newsletter of a good friend really resonated with me. It was not the direct message that was being sent, but rather the deeper implications on financial planning and more specifically that of insurance. Too often we focus solely on “the fix” to a problem, rather than a more rational avoidance of the problem in the first place. This, in the truest form, is reflected by the comprehensive financial planning process that we use to develop a Wealth Plan at Northland. Insurance definitely has a place in the financial make up of one’s net-worth; however, greater protection can potentially be obtained through diligent prevention.
Below is the article which outlines ten signs your home may be vulnerable to theft. Hopefully it resonates with you as well, and at a minimum provides you with some good ideas on how to protect your home from theft.
Why do criminals target some houses over others? Studies have shown that burglars tend to target newer neighbourhoods and houses in the middle of a block as opposed to corner lots. While some of these factors are out of your control, you may be attracting burglars to your home without realizing it. Here are some ways you could be making your home a target.
YOUR TRASH REVEALS YOUR SPENDING HABITS
Leaving the cardboard box of a new 75-inch TV, or shopping bags from high-end designers on your curb could attract burglars looking to swipe valuable items. Spend some extra time breaking down larger boxes and ensure all labels are hidden.
YOUR SHRUBS ARE TOO THICK
If you have thick shrubs that cover the front, back and sides of your house, this could invite burglars who are banking on taking cover behind your greenery. Keep your landscaping low enough so that your neighbours can be on the lookout for shady activity.
YOU DON’T COLLECT THE MAIL
A porch or mailbox overflowing with mail gives away the fact that you’re on vacation – or that you’re a neglectful homeowner and might not be as vigilant about your property.
YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA GIVES YOU AWAY
When you’re away on vacation, it’s natural to want to post pictures of your panoramic views and sun-kissed selfies. But to the eyes of a criminal, these pictures signal to them that your house is empty and unguarded. To avoid attracting this type of unwanted attention, make sure your social media profiles are private and only accessible to people you know.
YOUR WINDOWS ARE TOO EASY TO OPEN
After doors, the next most common entry point for burglars are windows on the first level. Jimmying a window open is surprisingly easier than you think, so aside from installing a home security system it’s best to use a widow jam that will prevent the windows from being opened all the way.
YOUR PROPERTY IS TOO DARK
Criminals don’t like operating around light, which makes a dark home an easy target. Turn your porch light on at night and install outdoor lights along your walkway or driveway. Even better, consider motion activated lights that turn on when it detects a person.
YOUR DOOR LOCK IS NOT THAT GOOD
You can’t prevent burglars from attempting to pick your door lock, but you can make it harder for them. Consider installing a secondary lock to stall criminals and choose one-inch-long dead bolts with a reinforced metal box strike. Do the same for all your exterior doors.
YOUR PETS COULD MAKE YOU TARGETS
Many burglars will walk away at the sight of a loud dog, even if it’s a barking miniature poodle. However, the sight of a cat, or even a quiet dog, might alert criminals to the fact that your home security system is off, or that a door or window may be left open for your furry friend. Keep pets away from windows and close the drapes.
YOUR DRIVEWAY LOOKS UNTOUCHED
If there’s a pristine layer of snow on your driveway and no signs of tire tracks or footprints, it’s a dead giveaway that the home has been empty for a while. Ask your neighbor to shovel your driveway or create tracks leading up to your house.
YOUR SECURITY KEY PAD IS IN PLAIN SIGHT
Make sure your security company installs the control pad in a discreet place away from the windows. If burglars take a peek inside and can easily spot the pad, they’ll be able to tell if your alarm system is on or not, making your home vulnerable to a break-in. Better yet, make sure to turn your alarm system on every time you leave the house.