Going away from our homes for prolonged periods of time always leaves us with a sense of worry.
And rightly so…
Three out of four American homes will be burglarized over the course of the next two decades. Taking into account that a burglary occurs almost every 30 seconds, that’s plenty of time increments for it to happen while you’re out too.
If you are heading out for a long outing, it is important to optimize your home. Optimizing your home means setting up a system to protect your home from burglary.
Burglar-Proof Your Home
If you want to burglar-proof your home for a long outing this includes securing your property in the main areas where burglars would otherwise penetrate. Most break-ins happen through the front door, the garage, or the windows.
In order to burglar-proof your home you can invest in better windows which have extra thick pains that are not easily broken, as well as stronger locks that secure the window in place and prevent them from simply lifting the latch.
You might have a very strong door already but if the hinges are old and broken down, it will still be easy for a burglar to knock your door off the hinges and break into your home. Improving the doors by replacing the screws that reinforce the door frame is always a good idea every once in a while. If you don’t mind giving yourself extra security, door bars or portable door locks could be considered to improve the door integrity.
Garage doors can also be made more secure by improving the locks you have on the door and investing in things like security codes for the garage and smart garage door opener so you can monitor things from a distance.
If you’re using a remote garage opener in your car and you plan on leaving it in the driveway, be sure to take the gadget inside or keep it on your person. Having your car stolen is more bearable, than letting someone in from the vehicle.
Talk to The Neighbors
When burglars review different houses for potential break-ins, they will take on those that seem abandoned. One way that you can optimize your home for a long outing is to make sure a neighbor is aware of your plans. In fact, if you have a security code in your garage, you can provide the code to the neighbor in question so they can check in on your house periodically, maybe once per day or once every few days while you are gone.
If you so choose you can have more than one neighbor made aware of your outing so that more activity takes place around your property while you are gone. A good idea is to ask neighbors to check and pick up mail from the mailbox and take away any packages left at the front door. If a potential burglar notices multiple people around the house, they are less likely to target your property.
Where most people focus only on the front doors and back doors, they forget the garage doors. Your garage serves as another possible point of entry and even if you have a door leading into your home from the garage that remains securely locked, there is likely a lot that can be burglarized directly in your garage.
The FBI found an average loss of $2,661 from burglary. With neighbors monitoring your property and calling you in the event that something or someone is spotted can help prevent this loss.
There are many reasons you might be on a long outing whether it is spending time helping a family member who just had a baby or is aging, or a very long vacation. If you go on a long trip for work, family, or pleasure during the summer, your property is at a 10% higher risk of being burglarized. In addition to having neighbors wander your property and perhaps go into your home to make sure everything is still secure, you can also use timers.
Timers can give the appearance that you and your family are still at home even when you are on a long outing. The most effective timers are those set to the lights inside your home such as your bedroom or the kitchen as well as things like your television. You can set timers to turn on the television in your living room for 30 minute increments every evening or to turn on the lights in your bedroom and then turn them off around 10 pm. Things like this give the appearance that you are still home.
Have Security Cameras
Daytime is a popular time for break ins because burglars assume residents are gone. As you prepare for a long outing, you want to make sure that your home is equipped with security gear. Having security cameras and a subsequent security monitoring sign posted on your front lawn can act as a big deterrent.
The more cameras you have around your property, the more angles you are able to cover. These cameras can work in tandem with lights on timers so that in addition to filming the entry points to your home in the event of a potential break-in, the lights around the property will turn on with motion and give a much better view on the camera.
If you connect the cameras to your smartphone devices you can receive alerts whenever the cameras are motion activated or have access through your phone to view the cameras at any time and go back and review them to verify that your neighbors are indeed checking in on your property.
Invest in a “Virtual” Guard on Duty
Most people believe that large cities are where the majority of crime happens but when it comes to burglaries, rural areas with larger homes are more likely to be targets. If you live in a rural area you are up to five times more likely to be burglarized.
To help prevent this from happening in your home, you can invest not only in security cameras but in a more comprehensive security system. The most effective way to secure your home is through a real person. And while having your neighbors check in on your home and using motion-sensitive lights can be very useful, the best way to protect your property is to have a guard on duty. And while traditional security systems won’t have this option, certain security companies will visually monitor your property 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Almost all of these video surveillance options are very expensive, until recently. There are very few emerging technologies that provide 24/7 live guard surveillance for almost the cost of a traditional home security system. And in the event that someone does show up, the guards can engage and contact police in real-time.
Overall, the best way to optimize your home while on a long trip is to make sure you secure the most common point of entry like your garage, your windows, and your doors. Once the house is physically secure, you can talk to your neighbors as the first step in guarding your property, and use timers to make sure lights turn on and off for the television is blaring in the evening. Invest in security cameras and use real guards.
About The Author: Tomasz Borys. Tomasz specializes in home safety and security technology. Prior to joining Deep Sentinel, Tomasz has over a decade of marketing leadership experience, ranging from Microsoft to Kissmetrics.
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