People often interchangeably use the term “burglary” with theft or robbery but it’s important to understand the crime of burglary is very specific. It means a person has unlawfully entered a dwelling, place of business or other property without permission with the intent to commit a crime. A burglar’s motives can vary, ranging from stealing, stalking or doing harm to a person inside of the dwelling. According to the U.S. FBI, a burglary occurred every 20 seconds in the United States during 2015.
Burglary is an unsettling crime that makes a person feel violated that someone entered their personal property without their knowledge or consent. It can make you feel unsafe whether or not you were home at the time of the incident. How can you prevent a burglary? Take some proactive precautions to reduce the risk of a break-in and increase your home’s security.
How secure is your home’s exterior?
Is the outside of your home as secure as it could be? Do a walk-through around your home with a critical eye to detect if there are any ways a burglar can get in effortlessly. Do any conditions exist that a burglar could easily take advantage of?
- Install quality exterior doors with good locks
- Ensure both door and window locks are in working order
- Keep your garage door locked at all times
- Trim any branches on tall trees near your home where burglars could enter through an upstairs window
- Lock valuable outdoor equipment in your garage, shed or other storage places
- Install motion-sensing lighting to shine on intruders who get too close to your home
How secure is your home’s interior?
Now that you’ve checked and secured the outside of your home, it’s time to turn to the inside. Look around the interior of your house to see if it is as safeguarded as it could be. Best practices include:
- Always locking doors and windows before leaving the house
- Keeping valuable possessions away from windows and, ideally, out of sight
- Considering a monitored home system. To learn more, call Protect America today for a free quote
- Setting timers for your lights on evenings you aren’t home or are away on trips
- Hanging curtains to block interested peepers from looking into your home
Other precautions to take
Do you have a habit of hiding your spare key outside, say under the doormat or inside a fake rock? If so, this is a habit to break, pronto. Would-be burglars are pretty savvy to the ways people hide keys outside. Instead, leave the key with a trusted neighbor or in a magnetized lock box under your car. Other precautions to take:
- Stop your mail when you travel, or ask a reliable neighbor to collect it
- Don’t announce on Facebook or anywhere else online you’re going on vacation or even for the day—post photos after you’re home
- Place a “no soliciting sign” on your door (some burglars pose as vendors to try to get a look at the inside of your home. Or, if you are out of town, solicitor literature won’t build up on your doorway)
- If you’ve recently purchased your home, change the locks ASAP
You should never be nonchalant about your home’s security. Reduce the chances of being victimized by thoroughly checking the inside and outside of your home.
Believe it or not, it’s often the simplest and most obvious precautions that homeowners tend to forget-and which burglars tend to exploit. Maybe you’ve lived on the same street for decades and doubt it could ever happen to you. (State Farm Insurance)
Always prepare for the unexpected, don’t become one of the burglary statistics.