Being burgled is a terrible thing to happen to anybody.
It leaves you feeling unsafe in your own home, not to mention that you will lose, on average, $2,251 worth of stuff in the process. Less than a quarter of burglars are ever arrested so the chances that you’ll get that stuff back are pretty slim. Your insurance company will probably cover it but that’s not the point.
People often think that they aren’t at risk if they live in a fairly safe neighborhood. Unfortunately, the reality is that most robberies happen during the day while people are out at work. That means it can happen to anybody, regardless of where they live. In 3 out of 10 burglaries, somebody is in the house while it’s happening. That will be an incredibly traumatic event for anybody to go through, but it can be avoided if you take the right precautions.
Secure The Doors
This sounds like stating the obvious but it means more than just locking the doors at night. Most people think that burglars scale the building and creep in through a back window without making a sound. The reality is that burglars are often less complex than that. Around 33 percent of burglars come in straight through the front door. If you don’t secure it properly, they will easily be able to break in.
One thing that people often forget to consider is the letterbox opening in the door. If it is badly placed then a potential burglar will be able to reach through and unlock the door without having to break anything. Check that you can’t reach the lock through the letterbox and if you can, you need to move it. You also need to ensure that the hinges and the frame are secure. Most robberies don’t involve lots of sneaking around. They’ll just burst in and grab what they can before running off. Making sure that they can’t kick the door in will help avoid break ins. The front door is a good focal point but make sure that you don’t put good home decor before security.
Another common home security mistake that people make is neglecting the garage. They spend so much time making sure that the house itself is impenetrable but if you don’t do the same with the garage, you’re leaving them an easy way in. Losing your car is also going to be more expensive than anything that you’ve got in the house. Make sure that you install the best roller doors on the front of the garage so it’s difficult for people to get inside. However, that isn’t enough. The inside door that leads to the house needs to be reinforced just as much as the rest of the outside doors so that you have an extra layer of protection.
All windows will come with a lock on them, but the manufacturers usually put some pretty flimsy ones on there that aren’t going to keep out a professional burglar for more than a few seconds. As soon as you get a window put in, you need to change them up for something more robust. The front door is the most common point of entry, but windows are a close second. Suring up the first floor windows with reinforced glass is always a good idea because it reduces the chance of them being able to smash the window and unlock it.
Obviously, a good security system is going to be a deterrent but you might not realize how good it is. 60 percent of convicted burglars said that they would choose another home as soon as they saw an alarm system. There is no need to spend huge amounts on a very expensive one because the presence of any alarm system will be enough of a deterrent. However, you should look for one that links to your mobile phone so if you get burgled while you are at work, you can be made aware straight away and notify the police as soon as possible. This will increase the chances of them being caught. Make sure that you cover all of the possible windows and doors that they may enter through with motion detectors and have the alarm on clear display on the front of the property.
Know Your Neighbours
The majority of burglaries are committed by people that live in a two mile radius of the house. That’s why it’s important that you know everybody around the local area. If there is anybody suspicious nearby, you should know about it. However, the main benefit of knowing your neighbors is that they can act as the first line of defense. They can keep an eye on the house when you aren’t in and if they know the people that usually come to your house, they can make you aware if there are any strangers lurking about. They can also ring the authorities on time if you aren’t in the house when it gets burgled.
When burglars are looking for houses to burgle, there are a lot of things that attract them but most of all, they’ll be looking for things that are high value. If they can see expensive electronic items like laptops through the window, they’ll immediately be drawn to your house. When you aren’t in the house, or when you go to bed, make sure that you put anything of that nature fully out of view.
Light It Up
Darkness is a burglar’s best friend. They aren’t going to get very far if everybody can see them coming a mile off. When they’re looking for houses to target, any that are well lit will immediately be discounted and they’ll move onto any that aren’t. To this end, put in some security lights with motion sensors. As soon as they step onto your lawn, the whole place will light up and they’ll be sure to make a run for it straight away. It will also alert your neighbors as well so they can be on their guard.
If you take all of these precautions, you should hopefully be able to avoid being burgled in the future.
This is a contributed article written for WhimMagazine.com