Homeowners: Take Action and Prevent Burglaries

Home burglaries can happen to anyone at any time regardless of low crime rates in a neighborhood. It is important for homeowners everywhere to be prepared and to take steps to prevent burglaries. Below are some of the most helpful tips for preventing home burglaries.

1. Make The Home Look Occupied

When leaving home, leave some lights on. Even a quick trip to the store is enough time for a burglar to break in and steal an expensive painting, a television and precious jewelry. Anyone planning to be away overnight or longer should set up their DVR to turn their television on. This will give the appearance that someone is home. It is also helpful to purchase a light timer, and use the timer to set the lights to come on and go off at random times. Always remove fliers, newspapers and other items from the fence, yard or doorstep. While away for more than a day, ask a neighbor or friend to remove these items. Burglars think that nobody is home when these items are allowed to accumulate. Also, arrange for the lawn to be mowed while away. Ask a friend or neighbor to stop by frequently. It may also be helpful to have a neighbor park their second vehicle in the driveway if possible. This is often a deterrent to thieves who are casing the neighborhood with the intent to break in.

2. Lock Everything Up

Always make sure to lock the doors and windows before going to bed and before leaving. Hinges for outside doors should always be on the inside of the home. Install strong strike plates and reinforcements to prevent the outside doors from being kicked open. If there is a garage on the property, keep the door closed and locked at all times. Never use push-button locks on outside doors. They are easy for burglars to pick open. To keep the doors safer, always use a turn lock on the knob and a deadbolt as well. Use the best possible locks for any sliding doors, and put a metal rod between the sliding door and wall while away. Anyone who just moved into a new home recently should have the locks on the doors and windows changed immediately. If there are valuables or firearms in the home, keep them in a locked safe. It is also smart to bolt your safe or firearm safe to the floor.

3. Keep Valuables Out Of Sight

Lawn mowers, bicycles, motorcycles and other valuables that are left outdoors are attractive to thieves. Keep them locked in a garage when they are not in use. Also, thieves often look for items to steal while looking through the windows. Any homeowners who leave their curtains open should also keep valuable items out of sight from these viewpoints. At night, close the curtains to avoid any unwanted attention. When cleaning up the yard, also pay attention to shrubs and trees. They should be trimmed to discourage burglars from hiding behind them. Install a motion-activated light for the front and back.

These are just a few best practices to remember. Install an alarm system whenever possible. Video cameras are also useful. If it is not affordable to install a camera system, buy a few cheap dummy cameras to place in different areas of the property. Since they do not want to be caught on film, most burglars do not take chances with cameras. Also, never place extra keys in fake garden rocks or under doormats. Burglars know all of the top hiding spots for keys. In addition to these best practices and tips, it is important to be insured in the event of a burglary. Always insure firearms, expensive jewelry, and rare art separately. Update home insurance coverage and lists of specifics every year. To learn more, to add coverage or to update an existing policy, discuss concerns with an advisor.

June 25, 2017
by Jeff Neuhalfen