Keeping your home safe from burglary is always a priority for homeowners. We all know that the break-ins happen and think they will never happen to us, but there are some simple steps we can execute to assure our home is safer than not.
Although it’s true that burglaries may occur on any day at any time, it is important to note that according to FBI crime reports, 65% of residential burglaries happen between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m and that nearly 400,000 burglaries occur in the U.S. in November and December. There are many techniques for keeping your home safe from burglary and here, we outline some of those most effective.
Pretend to be home: Break-ins typically happen when nobody is home, especially during the day. Create an illusion that someone is still there during these times by leaving a light and music or television on in the home. Also consider motion detecting lights for your home for after the sun sets.
Don’t showoff: If you’ve recently purchased a new high priced item, such as a television or computer, breakdown the box and put it in the recycle receptacle rather than leaving it in full view at the curb. Also consider walking the perimeter of your property to see visibility of expensive items through windows. You may want to move some of these items out of view to avoid enticing robbers.
Secure your yard: Overgrown or tall bushes, shrubs and trees can be hiding places for burglars waiting for you to leave so they can get into your home. Keeping landscape trimmed and manicured is the key prevention factor here.
Secure sliding doors and windows: Older sliding doors can easily be popped off their frames even when locked. This is more difficult with newer doors, but extra precautions may still be necessary to secure them since they can be an inviting entry for a burglar. To prevent intrusion through the sliding door, simple place a strong wooden dowel or two by four in the back groove track. For windows, install a pin or nail into the frame to stop it from opening more than a few inches. This adds extra security in the case of someone popping off the screen to a window left unlocked.
Never leave a spare key out: You may think it a good idea to leave an extra key hidden under a doormat, flowerpot or rock in the case of getting locked out of the house. A hidden spare key is really not difficult for a burglar to find and becomes an open invitation for the person to walk in without difficulty. If a spare key is something you feel necessary, give one to a friend or neighbor you trust. Also, remember not to put any identifying information on your house key. If you happen to lose your keys, it is not difficult to trace them to you and your home.
To-do before vacation: Let neighbors you trust know about your trip and ask that they watch your property while you’re gone. Upon leaving your home for vacation, don’t leave signs of an empty house. Avoid having piled up mail or newspapers and unkempt landscaping, as these are signals the home is currently vacant.
Social media factor: Although it’s tempting to post vacation announcements, photos and updates on social media, these can invite burglars to a home they know is empty. Checking in at places out of town on social media sites can be very easily tracked by people with whom you may not even be friends. Many people don’t have private or highly secured profiles and may not realize how many people can see they are on vacation. Save the vacation sharing with friends until after returning home.
Very simply, Lock it up: More than 40% of break-ins happen without use of force, meaning doors and windows are left unlocked when people leave their homes. If your doors have deadbolts, always be sure to keep them locked. Locking the door leading from the garage into the home is very important as well. Even a closed garage door can be opened fairly easily. Don’t leave a garage door remote in your parked vehicle, as this gives someone the ability to open the door without effort.
Our homes are our safe haven and contain many of our most prized possessions and happy memories. Many of the above mentioned techniques for keeping your home safe from burglary seem like common sense, but we can never be reminded enough of the ways to keep these havens secure for our families.
For more tips on keeping your home safe from burglary or information on insurance for your home, please contact Elise Fay and Associates.