No matter how safe a neighborhood may seem, your home could fall victim to burglars. More than 2 million homes are burglarized every year in the United States, and homes with security systems are 3 times less likely to be broken into. Home security systems are the best form of protection from this crime, but there are ways to further increase safety that you can easily do yourself. Below are several tips to help protect your home and belongings from potential burglary.
- The first step is ensuring all doors entering your home have proper locks. All entrances should have 1” deadbolt locks to provide a higher level of protection from a break-in. These locks can be picked up at a local hardware store and self-installed by following simple instructions or put in by a locksmith.
- Never leave extra keys in obvious places outside your home. Burglars know to check under mats, in potted plants or inside those suspicious looking fake rocks. Get more creative with your hiding place or entrust a neighbor with a spare set.
- No matter how big of hurry your family may be in, always close garage doors. Leaving these open expose commonly stolen items like bikes or tools. Whether leaving or returning home, make sure to check that the doors close behind you.
- Avoid leaving notes on your door for friends, family members or service people. They advertise your absence and make your home a potential target.
- Have curtains or blinds shut in rooms that house expensive equipment. Don’t educate thieves on which television you have or other nice things you have inside your home. Protect these investments by limiting the visibility to these areas and consider installing a home security system to further ensure their protection.
- If you will be out of town, create the illusion that someone is home to prevent burglars from selecting your home. Leave a light or two on in common or highly used rooms. Some people opt to also leave a television, radio or stereo on to deter thieves.
- Keep windows closed and locked when out of the house. This seems obvious, but many people forget to check before heading out or aren’t aware that another family member may have opened one.
Don’t let yourself become a victim of theft. Simple tips like these are great ways to improve your home’s overall security. If you already have a home security system, be sure to prominently display yard signs and window decals further decrease the chance of your home being a target. Educate your family on these safety habits and everyone can help preserve the family property.