According to the FBI, home break-in (burglary) is the most common threat to your home. A home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. In about 30 percent of all cases, the burglar gains access through an open or unlocked window or door. Burglaries most often occur in the daytime when occupants are at school or at work, and the highest percentage of burglaries occur during the summer months. The tools used to break into a home are usually the simple tools in most every homeowner’s tool box: a screwdriver, pliers, pry bar, and a small hammer. Renters are just as likely as homeowners to be the victims of property crimes.
Since one out of three residential assaults are a result of burglary, it is important that you take steps to help make your family safe. Although it is not possible to completely burglarproof your home, you can reduce the risk of being a victim of this crime.
Top Tips to Prevent Burglary
Lock your doors when you go out. Keep all doors, windows, pet entrances, and garage doors closed and securely fastened
Doors should have deadbolt locks with at least a 1-inch throw and reinforced strike plate with 3-inch screws
All windows should have window locks
Secure sliding glass doors. Place a metal rod or piece of plywood in the track and install vertical bolts
When service or delivery people come to your door, ask for ID. Call the company to confirm. If you are still not sure, call the police first and report the stranger
Do not leave ladders or tools lying around outside. They can assist a possible intruder
Install a wide-angle door viewer (peephole) in your front door so you can see who is at the door
Organize a neighborhood watch program
Make a home inventory list, complete with photos or video. Store this list in a safety deposit box
Don’t leave your name and residential address on your key ring. If you happen to lose it, a dishonest person could gain entry to your home
Install and test a burglar alarm system
Keep spare keys with a trusted neighbor or friend, not under a doormat or planter, on a ledge or in the mailbox
Illuminate or eliminate places an intruder might hide, such as spaces between trees or shrubbery
If you see anyone acting suspicious around your house or a neighbor’s house, call 911 immediately
Ask police to check your home and patrol your neighborhood
Stop mail and newspaper deliveries
Secure all doors, windows, pet entrances, and garage doors
Transfer valuables to a safety deposit box
Leave a light on—place timers on indoor lamps to illuminate your home at night, set timers to turn on radios and television randomly during the day
Arrange to have your landscaping service continued
Keep some shades and blinds up and curtains open
Don’t tell people you are away. Remove messages from your telephone voice mail daily. Don’t indicate on your message that you are on vacation
Home Alarm Systems
An alarm system is excellent home security. It provides peace of mind to homeowners and it increases the potential of the burglar being caught.
Burglars will usually bypass a home that they believe has a sophisticated burglar alarm. Additionally, many insurance companies such as UPC Insurance offer a premium credit on your policy for protective devices for your home.
Finally, if your house is broken into, call the police immediately. Don’t touch anything that the criminal may have touched. Wait outside for the police to arrive and write down plate numbers of suspicious vehicles. If you do confront a burglar, allow him to escape or you should flee to safety.
Burglary is a preventable crime. Burglar proofing your home is an investment in protection of your possessions and perhaps your life.