According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, an estimated 2,103,787 burglaries occurred in 2012, accounting for nearly 25 percent of all property crimes. Victims of these burglaries suffered an estimated $4.8 billion in property loss – an average of $2,230 per burglary. Think about it… In just one attempt you could end up with a financial loss of over $2,000! That’s pretty significant. So how can you protect your home from theft?
Protect your home from theft with these 10 simple tips:
- Add a home security system… Home Security systems are a great way to prevent burglaries. A burglar will be far less likely to invade a home they believe is protected by a security system.
- Keep your garage closed and your eyes open.
Garages are a common target for burglaries. If you aren’t right outside of it, keep your garage door closed. Open doors advertise expensive wares making your home far more appealing to thieves.
- Keep doors and windows locked.
Painfully obvious, but often overlooked, the more time it will take for a burglar to enter your home (and possibly be noticed) the less likely they are to attempt it.
- Get involved in your neighborhood.
A closely knit community will keep an eye out for and recognize suspicious activity. Getting out and interacting also increases goodwill, reducing your chance of being victimized by burglars who might happen to live in your community as well.
- Be creative when stashing valuables.
The master bedroom is an obvious choice for burglars, so be creative if you need to hide valuables and cash and look for somewhere else to store them. Empty opaque food and cleaning containers hidden among the real thing are inexpensive and effective, as are hollowed-out books. There are also great options on the market that offer larger storage solutions such as faux air vents, wall art that doubles as hidden storage, and more.
- Pay attention to design when landscaping.
When you landscape your yard, opt for less shrubbery and more exposure. Bushes and trees offer hiding spots and escape routes for burglars. Well-trimmed, thorny shrubs by first story windows are a great deterrent.
- Maintain your yard.
With the glut of foreclosures on the market today, homes that look abandoned or neglected offer prime targets for burglars and other unsavory characters, as they often harbor handy hiding places thanks to overgrown trees, shrubs, and grass.
- Shed some light on the subject.
Namely your home. Lights are a tremendous aid in preventing burglaries and offering you safe entry. Motion sensors add additional protection, and heat-sensing lights that turn on when they detect human body temperature are top-notch.
- Don’t be too quiet.
A home that appears lived-in prevents burglaries as well. Leave a radio on while you are gone and employ the use of timers with lights and other appliances so that your home appears occupied. Timers with a random setting are best for giving this illusion. Also, never leave your home phone ringer on while you are away as this loudly advertises no one is at home.
- Ask for advice from your local police department.
Most local police departments offer free “safety checkups” to help you burglar-proof your home and reduce crime. They would much rather get to know you by helping you prevent a crime – rather than responding to one at your home.