There used to be a time when we could leave our doors unlocked without having to worry about people coming in and stealing our valuables. Those days are far in the past though. According to the FBI, there are more than 2 million burglaries in the US each year, which breaks down to a home being broken into every 15 seconds. The average net that a thief gets from each of those robberies is around $1500.
Burglaries are always on the rise too, and while the intruders don’t seem to be gaining any more elaborate skills, we seem to be getting sloppy when it comes to protecting our homes and valuables. Most of the time, break ins are something that is preventable, due to the fact that intruders tend to take advantage of mistakes that we make as opposed to forcing entry. There are many things that you can do to protect your home, from building a DIY fence to keeping your personal business off social media. Let’s take a look at how you can protect your home.
Your typical home security system will include things like sensors on your windows and doors, as well as a few sensors outdoors that are motion activated. They also have a direct link to a service that is constantly monitoring those sensors. An alarm system can be a great deterrent for anyone looking to break in to your home and they are easy to use. Aside from keeping your home protected, having a home security system installed can also reduce your home owner’s insurance premiums.
Make it Look Lived In
When burglars look for homes to break in to, they tend to look for ones where no one is at home. If you make sure that your home appears as if someone is there even when you are gone, most of the time, a burglar will pass it by looking for one that is unoccupied. You can make it appear as if you are home by doing just a few simple things like putting your lights on automatic timers, using those same timers on TVs, making sure that your lawn is kept mowed or the snow is shoveled in the winter, not letting mail and newspapers pile up, and having a car in the driveway. These are all easy to do and can protect your home.
Install Dead Bolts
You should have a deadbolt on every one of your outer doors. Each deadbolt needs to have a throw that is a minimum of an inch. Locksmiths and insurance companies recommend that you use an American National Standards Institute deadbolt that is either Grade 1 or 2. These need to be on all external doorways – even the door leading from your home out to your garage.
Protect Windows Near Doors
For your windows that are within reach of your doors, you might consider having a ¼ inch Plexiglass barrier installed over the glass. When you attach this properly, it can actually keep any potential burglars from being able to break the window and then reach through to unlock the doors so that they can get into the house.
Reinforce Points of Entry
It should be common sense to know that most burglaries begin at the ground floor windows and doors. For this reason, it makes good sense to make it more difficult for thieves to get in through these points. All of your entry doors need to be either doors with a wood core that are wrapped in steel or solid wood. These are more difficult to kick in than cheaper, flimsier doors.
You should never draw any unwanted attention to your home through negligence. This can be something as simple as throwing your empty boxes for new purchases out to the curb to be picked up with the trash. This is a massive issue during the holidays. When you put those boxes for a new computer, video game system, flat screen TV, or other expensive electronics out with the trash, you are giving potential burglars a preview of what might be in your home worth stealing. If you have boxes for these things, cut them up and break them down to put into a trash bag before putting them out at the curb.