How to Avoid a Break-In – The Break-In Checklist
No one likes to think about being burglarized. But the statistics are alarming — in the United States, a home break-in occurs every 15 seconds. The good news is that protecting your home and family can be as simple as implementing a few common-sense solutions. Read on to learn how you can be proactive in taking the necessary steps to avoid burglary with our security systems.
Secure Your Doors and Windows
It may sound like a no-brainer, but remembering to keep your doors and windows locked is the first step to keeping your home protected. Most burglars target the front door, so equipping the main entrance to your home with a sturdy, pick-resistant deadbolt lock is a worthy investment. Sash locks on all the windows are a must, especially on ground-floor windows. Sliding glass doors can be secured with a mechanism (a solid metal “jammer”) that prevents them from being shifted or removed from their tracks. This “jammer” can also be folded up and stored away when not in use. In the garage, a side-mounted indoor lock offers extra security in case a burglar bypasses your electronic garage-door opener. As an added deterrent, install an outdoor entry light with motion detection (or one set on a timer) near entrances and at the dark corners of your home.
Make It Seem Like Someone Is Home
Another good way to prevent a home break-in is to make it seem like someone is always at home. The following tactics can all communicate to a potential burglar that your home is occupied and that easy pickings are to be found elsewhere.
- Leave a stereo turned up and set to a talk radio station when you go out.
- Many TVs are now also equipped with timers which allow you to designate when the set should turn on, how long it should stay on and when it should shut off. Take advantage of this feature.
- Keep a car parked in the driveway or on the street in front of your home whenever possible.
- Don’t allow newspapers to accumulate in your yard.
- If you are going on vacation, request that the post office hold your mail until you return.
- Make it a point to open and close your blinds and curtains periodically.
Be a Smart User of Social Media
Burglars will use whatever technology they can to find the path of least resistance into vulnerable homes. Turn your profile’s privacy settings to the strictest possible level, and avoid sharing your location on social media or announcing when you’re about to leave on vacation. Wait to post vacation pictures until you return home to deter any unsavory characters who may be monitoring your movements online.
Get to know your neighbors and develop a rapport with them. Neighbors who are also friends are more likely to take note of suspicious activity around your home. Likewise, be a good neighbor yourself and look out for the other residents on your block.
Don’t Give Burglars Any Help
If you leave tools, ladders or any large, heavy other objects (for example, loose bricks or logs) laying around the exterior or your home, you may be giving burglars extra incentive to break in. Not only are your tools potentially valuable stolen property, but they also can be used against you. A good hammer may be all a burglar needs to force home entry. Don’t arm him with one.
Invest In A Home Security System
In addition to being vigilant and careful about making your home unattractive to burglars, consider installing a security camera and comprehensive home security system. Studies show that nothing beats investing in a home security system as an effective deterrent against would-be thieves. In fact, the Electronic Security Association reports that nine out of 10 burglars avoid homes with alarm systems.
Moreover, installing a home security system can help you lower your home insurance premium by as much as 15 or 20 percent. Insurance companies offer these discounts because doing so is less expensive than having to cover the losses associated with a home invasion. In short, a home security system makes your home less of an insurance risk.
Many home security systems are now more than simple alarms. They are sophisticated 24/7 safeguards that provide live video feeds from the home to a computer or smartphone. Many home security solutions also offer a “smart” option that alerts you — via text or email — of any suspicious activity in or around your home. You can customize these alerts to include only those areas of your home that are of greatest concern. For example, you can get alerts every time the master bathroom window, garage door or office closet where you store sensitive personal documents is opened.
Finally, some systems can alert you (and the authorities) if smoke or carbon monoxide detectors go off while you are away. This level of protection offers tremendous peace of mind to parents and pet owners whose loved ones might be home alone.
Ultimately, the smartest choice you can make is to install a home security system. Here at Smith Thompson Home Security, we’ve been protecting homes and businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and across the state of Texas since 1978. We remain locally owned and operated, and our no-contract monitoring rates remain as affordable today as they did 40 years ago. If you’re interested in learning more about how to avoid robberies and how to protect your belongings,contact one of our experts today. We look forward to helping you feel more safe and secure in your home.