Home sweet home! Or so you may think. A home burglary is committed every 14.6 seconds in the U.S, according to the FBI. The frequency of these occurrences should be alarming. Your home should be a safe haven for you to relax and find comfort, away from other crimes and offenses. You should have peace of mind whenever you leave your house and not have to worry about what could happen to your property. So what measures can you take to prevent a burglary in your home?
We made an infographic to easily illustrate the facts and tactics on burglary prevention.
1. Don’t announce on the internet or social media if you’re leaving your home.
78% of convicted burglars believe that social media is useful for targeting vacant properties
Many Americans post on their social media profiles updating their whereabouts. Burglars can use this information to their advantage and find the best opportunity to break into your house. Don’t publish specific dates or post updates while you are absent. Wait until you are back in the neighborhood to post about your trip. This can also include not leaving a voicemail message saying that you are away.
2. Don’t leave spare keys out.
52% of homeowners hide their keys by the door
Burglars are smart enough to check under nearby flower pots, doormats, bushes, or rocks to see if a key is hidden. Don’t make the process easier for them. A better option is to give a key to a neighbor or trusted friend.
3. Make your home look occupied.
Burglars spend, on average, no more than 60 seconds on breaking a lock and gaining access to a home
There are a few simple things you can do to make it seem as if somebody is home. This can include setting the lights or even the TV on timers to turn on periodically while you are away. Leaving your car in the driveway also indicates to a burglar that someone is at home.
4. Lock all outside doors and windows before you leave the house.
35% of burglars break in through windows/doors left open
Open windows are commonly targeted during summer months. Being alert and remembering to lock all doors and windows is a simple measure you can take to prevent break-ins. This also applies to when you are sleeping for the night as well.
5. Have the yard well-kept. Have shrubbery trimmed.
Large bushes and trees near the house can help to conceal lurking burglars. The surrounding dense greenery gives burglars the chance to hide as they plan their next step for breaking in. Trimming and tidying up the nearby shrubberies and bushes create less of an opportunity for burglars to camouflage around the perimeter of your house.
6. Don’t allow mail to accumulate in your mailbox while you are away.
Burglars sometimes receive information from the mailman and newspaper carrier that the homeowners are away
The pile of mail indicates to burglars that no one is home to pick them up. Don’t forget about newspapers left in the driveway! Have a neighbor get them for you instead. Burglars can be attentive in noticing the days that you don’t get your mail, prompting them to take the chance in sneaking into your home.
7. Hide or store valuables in a secured safe or a spot that is not obvious.
The master bedroom is usually the first stop because most people keep their valuables in there.
Your valuables can include cash, important documents, or jewelry. Store these items in a locked safe that is heavily weighted and not easily moved. Feel free to get creative on all the possible ways to store your valuables in a safe unsuspecting place. Have a habit of keeping these precious items locked up and not casually laying around out in the open.
8. Don’t leave certain things outside. Hide or destroy any trash recently thrown that may reveal your personal belongings, such as boxes for recently bought expensive electronics.
64% of convicted burglars have stolen electronics during a burglary
Burglars see this as a sign that there are new electronics and devices in the household– waiting to be stolen. Don’t show off to the whole neighborhood what you recently bought! Be sure to keep things you leave outside, such as your bike, locked and secure. Also, try not to have chairs, stools, or benches in your backyard. This makes it easier for the suspect to climb through the windows.
9. Try not to have routine schedules so that burglars may not predict when you are absent from your home.
65% of burglaries occurred during the day
Burglars are very observant in keeping track of when homeowners are in and out of the house. If you have a predictable pattern of when you leave your home, then it makes it easier for burglars to plan on when to trespass onto your property.
10. Secure your property with alarms and security system.
Around 60% of burglars said that the presence of an alarm would lead them to seek an alternative route.
With the numerous occurrences of burglaries across the country, advancement in technology seeks to improve home security. Take advantage of these tools and equipment to fully protect yourself and your home from any burglary disruptions:
- Have security camera system
- Make sure your exterior door is made of steel or solid-core wood
- Use gravel outside so you can hear someone lurking around
- Use a solid core or metal door at entrance points
- Use a heavy-duty deadbolt with a one inch throw bolt
- Use a quality knob-in-lock set with dead latch mechanism
- Put up a home security system sign
- Install an alarm system
- Install electronic sensors in windows
- Invest in outdoor motion sensing lights
If you’re currently renting out your apartment/house, check your lease agreement to see if your landlord covers these expenses in installing the necessary security equipment. If not, talk to him or her about it.
There are many actions you can take to prevent a burglary from happening to you. These simple precautionary steps can stop any devastatingly costly losses from happening. Keep your house a well-guarded home for you, and make your walls the deterrent to burglars looming from the outside.