Nearly 66% of all burglaries are residential home break-ins. What’s a homeowner to do? Think like a burglar. Then, set up roadblocks. Here are five ways to beat them at their own game.
1. Start a Neighborhood Watch Group
Recruiting and organizing a neighborhood watch is a way to not only get to know your neighbors but to enclose your neighborhood in a human security net. Be sure to seek all your retiree neighbors, as well as any stay-at-home parents, and those who work from home or at odd hours. An effort like this will help take away the 9-to-5 free pass many burglars enjoy. Alerting the group when you go away will also keep your home safer when you’re on vacation.
2. Clear Anything That’s Impeding a View of All Your Doors and Windows
You may have spent years nurturing those flowering bushes, but are they worth the risk of burglars using them as a curtain when they break into your house? If you have trees with low-hanging branches, get the chain saw. Not only do they cast dark shadows, but they can also serve as a boost for burglars intent on climbing into your second-floor windows.
Don’t forget the back doors and windows, you want your neighbors to be able to keep an eye on your house, too, and vice versa. After all, this is a neighborhood effort.
3. Let There Be Light
Well-lighted areas act as a deterrent to would-be thieves. Keep in mind, thefts and burglaries are likely to increase during summer, when families are more apt to be away.
To combat this, plug lamps throughout the house into timers. Stagger the times, so it appears that you’re following your regular schedule: living room sometimes, the kitchen at others, and bedrooms last.
You should also use motion detectors 365 days of the year.
4. Keeping up Appearances
While we’re on the subject of vacations, you want your home to appear as if life is going on as usual. Mail piling up in the mailbox or newspapers accumulating on the doorstep are an excellent way to attract burglars. Once more, it’s time to enlist the help of your neighbors, or perhaps one of their children to collect your mail every day.
If you regularly park your car in the driveway, its absence will be another burglar beacon. If you are like the majority of families, you have more than one car. Be sure to park one in the driveway, even if you always garage your vehicles. Or borrow a car from a friend or loved one.
5. Lock Your Doors — No Excuses
You have locks on your doors — so use them. Routinely make rounds before bedtime, ensuring all first-floor doors and windows are locked. If you have a sliding glass door, install security locks that keep the sliding panel closed and stationary. One DIY solution is to cut a broomstick to fit into the track of the sliding panels, so it is hard to move. Garden stakes can serve the same purpose for sliding windows.
Don’t hesitate to go overboard on locking doors. If you are gardening in the back or cooking in the kitchen, make sure the front door is locked. As for the garage, always be sure to close and lock it, even if you leave for a few minutes. Although it should go without saying, don’t forget to lock the door from the garage into the house.
Burglars are resourceful. Always be one step ahead and never let down your guard. No matter where you live, make your home look as if someone’s there behind those locked doors.
About The Author: Chris Beykirch is Business Development Director at Alarm Detection Systems, Inc., one of the top alarm companies in the United States. We are committed to same-day service with more than 100 trained and certified technicians.
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