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HARMFUL-homeowners-habits-preventing-robberiesSometimes, we think that a burglary could never happen to us, but we still have to be ready for the possibility. 

It is great if you feel safe in your neighborhood, but sometimes that comfort can turn into laziness, which can leave your home open to robbers.

A new survey from Nationwide Insurance shows how homeowners’ habits can make it easier for burglars to get into the house. Below are five tips that can help keep your home safe and keep thieves out.

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Safe

1. Arm Your Alarm

Twenty percent of people that have alarm systems fail to activate them during the day and instead only use them at night after they go to bed. Yet the chance of robbery while you’re out during the day is just as likely as after your family has gone to sleep, so make sure to keep your house alarm turned on as much as possible.

2. Be Snapshot Smart

If you’re going on vacation, you want to be sure that you don't share too much information about your trip. If you post on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter about when you’re going away, burglars may use this knowledge to plan a robbery while you are out of the house. The survey found that 41% of 18-34 year-old homeowners posted social media photos and updates of their trip while they were still on vacation. To be safe, wait until you get home to post photographs and statuses about your adventures.

3. Leave it Locked

Despite the fact that there has been a serious rise in household theft over the past 40 years, 39% of homeowners still leave their door unlocked for about the same amount of time as their parents did as they were growing up. We know that old habits die hard, but keeping the door locked (even when you’re home) can make a huge difference in home safety.

4. Spare the Spare

Thirty percent of homeowners keep a spare key hidden outside their home somewhere, but this can be extremely dangerous if a robber is watching your home to learn your family’s habits. All it takes is a few days of observation to learn where you keep the spare key hidden and when your family tends to be out of the house, and burglars can go in and out of your house unnoticed.

5. Avoid Window Pain

Up to 35% of homeowners admitted to leaving the windows in their home unlocked, which can provide the perfect opportunity for robbers to sneak into your home. If you are at home and want to leave your windows open for a breeze, at least be sure that you have screens installed so no one can squeeze through.

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