According to the FBI, more than 3.7 million burglaries occur each year in the United States. In 28% of all cases, at least one person is present during the intrusion. These sobering statistics remind of us of the importance of preventing home invasions whenever possible. Here are a few things you can do to ensure you do not become a victim.
#1. Install a security system
Homes with security systemsare less likely to be broken into than houses without them. Criminals seek out homes that they can break into quietly with little chance of being apprehended. They would rather not hear the sound of an alarm system going off or deal with rapidly-responding police officers, which is why they tend to bypass homes that have alarm system warning stickers prominently displayed.
#2. Install good landscape lighting
Next to an alarm system, the next best deterrent is the right landscape lighting. Homes that contain dark shadows provide intruders with optimum concealment during a break-in, so simply adding a few spotlights or even security lighting can reduce your risk significantly. View your home from the street after dark to determine if you are inadvertently creating the ideal environment for a would-be intruder to hide in.
#3. Adopt a dog
Burglars also tend to avoid houses with dogs. This is not necessarily due to a fear of dogs, but rather the fact that canines serve as an early warning system. As mentioned earlier, 28% of all burglaries occur while someone is home. Should a break-in occur while you are home, you are most likely to know about it when you hear your dog barking. That gives you ample time to defend yourself and notify the authorities.
#4. Keep doors and windows secure
Many home invasions are crimes of opportunity. In other words, they happen because an individual notices a door or window open. Other times, individuals will pose as survey takers or lawn maintenance personnel who are going door to door. These people may knock to see if someone is home, and then try to open your door if no one answers. Many times, they are able to walk right in because the homeowner forgot to lock up properly. Other times, they can locate a hidden key that they can then use to let themselves go right on in.
#5. Don’t make it obvious you are away
Avoid posting your vacation or travel plans on social media, as criminals often troll these sites looking for potential victims. You should also stop mail and newspaper delivery if you plan to be out of town for more than a day or two. Hire someone to cut your grass during the summer and shovel snow for you during the winter. Your snow-shoveling crew should also make tracks to and from your front door and mailbox so it looks as though there has been recent activity.
#6. Keep valuables out of sight
You should ensure that valuable items such as televisions and computers are not easily visible through an open window. If you must place these items where they can be seen through the street, consider investing in heavier drapes or blinds to prevent others from peering in.
These things will go a long way toward helping you prevent a home intrusion. For more security tips or to learn about the various home alarm systems that are available, please contact us.