The Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics recently announced the number of home burglaries declined 47 percent from 1994 to 2011. Unfortunately, the median dollar value of items and cash taken in household burglaries increased 54 percent during that time period.
The good news is that protecting your home from intrusion is easier than you think and we’ve put together a collection of simple, inexpensive ways to get started.
1. Guard the garage. A garage is a common entry point for burglars, who often find garage doors unlocked or even wide open. Close and lock the garage door when you’re not actively using it so you aren’t advertising the goods you have stored there or give easy access to your property.
2. Make friends with your neighbor. Your neighbor is your eyes and ears when you’re not home. Someone who knows you well is more likely to recognize when something seems amiss, and take action like contacting you or law enforcement.
4. Use a home security app. A home security app offers lots of benefits, including notifications. Set up the app to notify you by text or email when motion detectors are tripped or doors or windows are opened and you’ll know immediately if someone has tried to enter your home.
5. Use motion sensors. Light works as an amazing burglary deterrent. Install motion sensing security lights to illuminate the dark areas of your property and you’ll not only startle the intruder, you’ll alert neighbors. For maximum effectiveness, consider using a motion detector that triggers a dog bark or activates a security camera.
6. Turn on the TV or radio. According to SafeWise, most burglaries occur between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., when most homeowners are at work. But leaving a radio or TV on can fool a burglar into thinking a house is occupied. If you’re using a home security app, you can turn on the TV or radio right from your smartphone any time you please.
7. Ask for police help. Most law enforcement agencies perform home security inspections as a community service, so don’t hesitate to call and ask for an officer to stop by and offer advice on how to better protect your home. And if you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, alert your local police precinct and provide them with a phone number where you can be reached, and a list of people who may be coming in and out of your home.
8. Ask a neighbor for help. Another way to help protect your home from intrusion while you’re on vacation is to ask a neighbor to park in your driveway to make it appear you’re at home. You’ll also want ask that they pick up any flyers, newspapers or packages left at your door or at the curb. If you don’t have a neighbor’s help, then stop mail and newspaper delivery while you’re gone.
9. Use interior timer lights. Burglars generally don’t want to be confronted by anyone in a home, so they’ll usually avoid homes that appear occupied. Interior timer lights are a great way to make it appear someone is at home, they are very affordable, and if you’re using a home security app you can activate your home’s lights wherever you roam.
10. Keep bushes trimmed. Overgrown bushes are the perfect place for burglars to hide while they break into your home. Keep shrubbery trimmed away from windows and doors to deter a break-in and keep your home visible to neighbors.
11. Install an intercom. Often, burglars will ring a door bell to determine if find out if anyone is home. Install an intercom that connects with your cell phone instead and you’ll surly have him running the other direction.
12. Keep windows and doors lock. A burglar knows he must act fast, so the longer it takes him to break in, the more likely he is to give up and move on to an easier target. Unfortunately, many home owners don’t secure windows and doors properly and according to Alarm.org, more than 30 percent of burglars enter homes through a door or window that is left unlocked.
13. Keep valuables out of sight. Burglars often peek in windows to look for valuables; leaving items such as purses, check books, cash, jewelry or devices like iPods within view is asking for a break in.
14. Beware the summer season. More burglaries occur during August and July than any other month. One common break in point during the summer season is a window that houses an air conditioning unit. Burglars simply push the unit through the window and gain access to the home. If you’re using a window unit, be sure the air conditioner is secured to the window frame, and the window can’t be opened.
15. Secure sliding glass doors. Sliding glass doors are often outfitted with cheap locks that are unreliable or inoperable. Take extra precaution by securing your home’s sliding glass door with a pole to prevent it from being opened even if the lock should fail to work.
16. Get a dog. Even a small dog can help protect your home from a break-in. That’s because he’ll startle the burglar, plus alert neighbors and draw attention to your home- and that’s just what the burglar is trying to avoid.
17. Monitor your trash. Placing empty boxes for high-dollar electronics at the curb showcases your valuables to burglars and tells him exactly what goodies your home offers. Instead of putting boxes from video systems, TVs, laptops and the like at the curb, take them directly to a recycling center.
18. Install a solid front door. A burglar won’t think twice about kicking in your home’s front door, so replace hollow-core doors or thin panel wood doors with a solid wood slab door or steel door that’s much more difficult to penetrate.
19. Be cautious of what’s left outside. If a burglar can’t reach a high window, deck or sliding door, they’ll use a ladder, chair or other item they find outside your home to do so. So secure these items in a locked shed or garage when not in use.
20. Get a home security system. If you’re serious about protecting your valuables, you can’t overlook the added level of protection a home security system offers. In fact, homes without an alarm system are three times more likely to be burglarized than homes with alarm systems. If you’re serious about protecting your valuables, consider investing in a home security system.
SafeWise’s latest infographic says it takes about eight minutes for a burglar to penetrate your home and gather all the valuables he pleases. Start protecting your home today using our 20 budget friendly ways.
Written By: Elli is a writer for the home security industry.
Courtesy of: blog.homes.com