Most home burglaries take place during the day, while the homeowner is at work or away from the home running errands. Most burglars get into the house through the front or back door. Burglars are opportunists: they look for easy access. Reducing your chances of being a victim to a home burglary can be easy by following these simple steps.
Inside. Open doors and windows are an easy entrance for thieves. Install deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Be sure to keep your doors and windows locked at all times, even if you are home. If you open your windows for fresh air on a warm sunny day, remind yourself to lock them back with a note on the fridge or a smart phone reminder notification. Add vertical locks to sliding doors and block the slides with a wooden or metal rod (an old broom handle works!). If you have purchased a new home, rekey the locks immediately.
Never let anyone inside your home if you do not have a scheduled appointment and even then, ask for business identification. Keep music or the television on when you are not home and keep a light on in the evening or set a timer for the lights if possible to allude that you are home.
Outside. Keep shrubs trimmed away from doors, windows and walkways. Your landscaping may look nice, but this is a perfect place for a criminal to hide. Install exterior lights (we prefer motion sensor lights) as a deterrent. Do not leave children's toys in the yard overnight.
Be a good neighbor. Let your neighbors know if they have left their garage door open and they may return the favor. Be vocal and active in the neighborhood and report unusual behavior and unfamiliar faces.
Security. Is there a neighborhood watch in your community? If not, look into organizing one. Let a neighbor know if you are going out of town and ask if they will pick up your mail. An overflowing mail box is a good indication that your home is vacant.
Keep a safe or locked box for your valuables and keep it hidden. Mark your electronics and expensive items with ID numbers and take photographs of them along with their serial numbers. ID numbers and photos make it easier for police to identify your items should they be stolen.
Burglars tend to pass up the homes with security system signs in the front yard. If you do not have a burglar alarm system, consider installing one. New systems are installed without using wires and are done in a few hours time. If you already have a burglar alarm, consider changing it to wireless. Burglars know how to cut the wires that disable the system.
Thieves are not geniuses, they're scavengers, preying on the vulnerable and unprepared. Preparedness does not require an armed fortress - just a few simple steps will make your home more trouble than it's worth for a burglar to attempt to break-in to your home.