Many American homeowners are not taking the proper precautions to safeguard their homes against potential intruders and there are statistics to prove it. In the United States, a burglary occurs every 13 seconds. If you do the math, that equates to about 2.4 million burglaries per year and a large percentage of these burglaries occur throughout the summer months.
Did You Know?
- 88% of these burglaries are residential.
- 77% of all crimes committed are property crimes.
- Within the next 20 years, 3 out of 4 homes will be broken into.
We don’t say this to scare you, we say it to inspire you to take the appropriate measures to defend your property. There are little tweaks that you can make to your everyday life that pack a big punch and are guaranteed to significantly limit your chances of falling victim to a break in. Protecting your property is in the finer details and it is important to be proactive and intentional with your actions.
This is a BIG one. We live in a day and age where everything gets posted on social media. And we mean literally everything – even the contents of your breakfast. So of course when you’re out for the night having beers with your buddies or out for the week relaxing with a Mai Tai on the beach, you’re going to be tempted to post all of your fun pictures. However, it is encouraged that you refrain from doing so, at least until you get back home.
Empty houses are low hanging fruit for creeping crooks and if you advertise when your house is empty, it amplifies your chances of someone sketchy deciding to take advantage of that situation.
Mentioning that you have made large purchases (even to people you think you can trust) is also a sure way to boost your chances of being a victim to theft. Keep a low profile on social media, and in person. You never know when someone with sticky fingers is in your midst.
Install Security Cameras
According to a conducted survey of 86 inmates currently doing time for burglary, homes with security systems are 300% less likely to be robbed. For a burglar, the risk of being caught on camera, and consequently caught by the authorities, far outweighs the reward of whatever valuable treasure they may nab from your household.
If a full-blown security system is out of reach for you financially, consider mounting motion sensor lights around your house. They are cheap, easy to install, and great for putting those slinky felons on blast. No bandit wants to be caught in the spotlight, and usually motion sensor lights are an indication that the rest of the home is strongly defended. Check out this article for a comparison of home security systems on the market today.
You can also reach out to your local police department and ask if they conduct residential security checks. This entails having a member of law enforcement come out to inspect your property for signs of vulnerability that a burglar would find intriguing. At the very least, you’ll know the areas you need to target to strengthen your home’s defenses.
If you are renting your household, unfortunately you are in a category of people who are more at risk for a break in. Check with your landlord to see if they would consent to installing security cameras, or motion sensor lights on the property. Doing so may even boost their property value, so it’s a win-win for both parties involved.
This may seem like an obvious preventative measure, but you would be surprised at how many people leave their doors, windows, cars, and garages unlocked. And while locking your property up a night is imperative for keeping the intruders at bay, most burglaries actually take place during the day between 6am and 6pm.
Keep this in mind when you are working out in your garden, or when you need to make a quick run to the grocery store. Take a minute and double check to make sure that everything is secure. If your property has more than a few points of entry, it may be a good idea to survey all means of access that require security attention-make a checklist and give those doors and windows a tug check before stepping out or going to bed.
A couple of rookie mistakes that people make:
- Locking the door, but leaving the key in the lock.
- Keeping a spare key in a fake rock laying in the yard, under a planter, under a doormat, etc.
Intruders have wised up to these old tricks, so do not be light with your gestures. It takes very little effort to properly lock up your home, and if you don’t, you might as well invite the criminal in and offer them a nice, chilled glass of champagne. Do not make it easy for the burglars to burgle.
Put Valuables Away
Leaving valuable belongings out in the open is like leaving the fancy cheese out for a mouse.
Outdoor items like grills, lawnmowers, and bikes are easy targets because it takes minimal effort to snatch said items and get away undetected. Tuck these belongings away in a shed or in the garage.
You should also be cognizant of what people can see through your windows. Do they have a view of your brand new flat screen TV mounted above the fireplace? Can they spy your vintage jewelry box? One glimpse of something shiny and those burglars will start to wonder what else they may be able to find in your home. Close your curtains and shut your blinds, especially at night when the indoor light makes it easy to get a sneak peek inside.
It would also be wise to invest in a safe to store things like extra cash, passports, and heirloom or expensive jewelry.
Befriend Your Neighbors and Know the Neighborhood
Making friends with your neighbors is a surefire way to guarantee that 1.) you’ll never be short on sugar, and that 2.) you’ll always have a second (if not more) pair of eyes on the happenings in your neighborhood. Don’t hesitate to ask your neighbor to bring in your garbage bins for you when you are out of town and collect any packages or newspapers sitting in the driveway. These items being left out may indicate to a burglar that you are not home.
When your neighbors are familiar to you, it is easier to spot a suspicious car or character prowling in the area. Protecting your block is a community effort, so always alert your loved ones next door if you do notice any dodgy activity, and record the details of your sightings. That way, if an incident ever does occur, you will be able to provide valuable information to the police.
Maintain Your Yard
Even if you don’t have much of a green thumb, it is vital that you whip out your weed whacker and keep up with basic yard work. When your plants and hedges are overgrown, it provides the illusion that no one has been around to care for the property and burglars will assume that they can successfully rob the joint and escape undetected.
Plus, big, bushy shrubs are a perfect location to camouflage and the last thing you want to do is offer your intruder a place to hide in the shadows.
Give Camargo a call today to make sure that your homeowner’s insurance has you covered should the worst-case scenario transpire. Keep in mind that if you have a security system or you’ve recently installed one, you should check with your agent to see if you can get a discount on your homeowners premium.
The aftermath of a burglary can have a tremendous impact on you and your family. Hopefully with these tips and tricks, you will prevent the crime before it occurs and provide your household with ultimate safety and security.