News Leader 9's 9 tips to deter burglars

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Whether you are going on vacation for a week, or just down the street for groceries, potential burglars could be watching your home. But are there things you can do to deter these criminals? News Leader 9 has nine easy tips to keep your home secure.

You may not think you are inviting burglars into your home, but law enforcement officials say invitations could be posted all around your house.

The first thing to avoid is hiding spots, like bushes around your lower floor windows.

"They look nice when they are all grown in but it does allow hiding spaces for people," said Deputy Kimberly Waters with the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office. "At night they can be crouched down waiting for you to come home or waiting for you to leave."

Even when you are home, you shouldn't allow anyone from the street to see inside your house. Deputy Waters says that means closing the blinds.

"You don't need to let people look inside your home so they can see what you have or what they might want to come in and get," she said.

And she adds, even your garage door.

"You need to keep it closed at all times. Not only does that allow them to not see what you have in there, but when it is closed they don't know if you are actually home or not if cars are pulled inside."

There are some little things you can do to your home's exterior like put out alarm system signs and keeping lights on.

"You should also use the time sensors. On your telephone, turn the ringer down, that way if they are here they don't just hear a ringing with nobody answering it," explained Waters.

If you can't get to them, you should have someone pick up your newspapers and packages. Waters also says you should also never leave a key for anyone to find, "If you leave it under rugs or flower pots, people tend to go through your things, so that's not a good idea."

If all else fails, Deputy Waters recommends having someone house sit for you or just calling a patrol car to canvas the area.

Law enforcement officials say when it comes to keeping your home secure, just use common sense. The main goal is to not have any red flags that would make it easy for a burglar to get inside.

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