Easy ways to make it harder for burglars
If you locked yourself out of your house, could you easily find a way in? If you answered yes, then a burglar could also answer yes. If you’ve ever been burglarized, you know what an awful feeling it is to have your home violated and to lose your personal property. Fortunately, for a minimal investment, you may be able to make your home potentially less appealing to burglars. Many burglaries occur in the summer, when people are away on vacation. Here are some tips that may help secure your home when you are not there.
• Use a monitored security system — A security alarm system can help keep your home safe from burglars. If you have a security system, don’t place stickers on your door or signs in your yard advertising the brand. That may be enough information for a thief to find out how to disable it. Get a generic sticker available at many home improvement stores.
• Trim your shrubs — You may be offering intruders a safe place to hide, albeit unwittingly. Make sure your home’s windows, porches and doors are not covered by vegetation.
• Close the blinds, shutters or shades — Burglary is often a crime of opportunity — if you don’t offer one, burglars may move on. Don’t let thieves window shop at your expense.
• Install motion sensors and use them — Motion-sensing security lights are a fairly inexpensive investment to protect your home and readily available at home improvement stores. These lights are activated when motion is detected, and the sudden change from darkness to bright light may startle intruders as well as provide a visual alert to you and your neighbors.
• Use indoor timers to control lighting — Timers hooked up to indoor lights and TVs that switch on when it gets dark make it appear as if someone is home and may serve as a deterrent to thieves.
• Install deadbolts — Consider installing a deadbolt on every exterior door.
• Don’t post your travel plans or whereabouts on social media sites — Sharing your vacation plans and activities can be fun, but it’s a public declaration of your whereabouts and a potential invitation to thieves.
Create and maintain a detailed household inventory. We can provide information that may help you determine if you have adequate insurance coverage on your home and belongings if, despite your good planning, the worst case scenario occurs.
GENERAL SECURITY TIPS1
• Arrange to have a member of a law enforcement agency do a professional survey.
• Keep all trees and shrubs pruned and well maintained to prevent anyone from hiding.
• Make sure that no trees, downpipes or latticework provide easy access to upper floors.
• If you have skylights, make sure they can’t be removed from the outside or easily broken.
• Don’t leave ladders or tools outside; they may assist a potential intruder.
• Don’t hide house keys outside where they’re likely to be found.
• Keep your home well lighted with particular attention to exterior doors.
• Exterior doors should be at least 1¾ inches thick, made from solid wood or reinforced with metal.
• All exterior doors should have heavy duty dead bolts and reinforced door jambs.
• Make sure no one can gain easy access through a mail slot, dryer vent or pet entrance.
• If doors have glass panels, make sure no one can break through and defeat the locking mechanism.
• Protect all sliding glass doors so they can’t be easily lifted out of their frames.
• Check that all exterior lights and security devices are in good working order.
• If you have an attached garage, make sure the door leading to the house has a dead bolt.
• Make sure your overhead door has a working electronic door opener.
• Make sure your overhead door doesn’t have any loose, broken or missing door panels or hardware.
• Keep the overhead doors closed, and your car locked inside the garage.
• Make sure all windows have reinforced locking devices that can be secured in the open position.
• Install reinforced locks on all screens and storm windows.
• Install guards or grates on all ground level windows.
• Make sure that basement windows are glass block or protected by grates or security devices.
Takeaway: Layer upon layer of protection is an effective deterrent against break-ins and a good defense should one occur.