Burglars target homes that they can quickly, quietly and easily get into. A burglar typically targets a home where he can gain access within one minute or less. Fortunately, there are several things you can do that may prevent criminals from targeting your home. Here are some suggestions of simple things you can do to help prevent a home burglary.
It is estimated that more than half of all burglars gain access to a home through a window, usually windows that are not visible from the street. A burglar will look for a window that is open or he may break the glass. Keep all windows closed and locked when you aren’t home, and to provide a tighter seal, secure windows with a PVC frame or apply a double glaze to the glass to make it harder to break through. Windows that are above ground level should not have anything that could provide access such as a flower trellis or ladder nearby.
Think Like a Burglar
Invest in good locks for all entrances, especially exterior doors, which should have a deadbolt. Never hide keys under the door mat, mailbox, flower pot or other area that a burglar would think of looking under. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is if you thought of hiding the key in a particular place, a burglar will think to look there. Burglars look for valuable items they can take, so if you purchased a new television set, instead of leaving the box next to the curb, break the box down and dispose of it in garbage bags.
If you are expecting a package delivery, do not leave a note on the door instructing the delivery person to take the pack around back or to a neighbor. This is a sure sign that you are not home and a burglar’s invitation to break in. Also, avoid leaving messages on your answering machine stating that you will be away. When you do leave your home, turn the volume down on the phone and answering machine to prevent a burglar from hearing it ring without being answered.
Avoid Tell-Tale Signs
One of the first things a burglar will look for is signs of no one being home. Do not let newspapers pile up in the driveway, near the curb or on your doorstep. Ask a neighbor to collect them for you if you will be away for more than a couple of days. Request the post office to hold your mail to prevent the mailbox from overflowing with mail, which is something burglars look for. Many burglars will scope out a neighborhood for several days before breaking in to make sure they find a house where no one is home, so when leaving for vacation or even a couple of days, leave some of the drapes or blinds open. A closed up house is a sure sign of vacancy. Ask a neighbor or friend to mow your lawn, shovel the snow or rake the leaves, so it doesn’t look like the yard is neglected because no one is home. Investing in inexpensive timers for lights will prevent burglars from spotting a dark house.
Using small precautions can help prevent your home from being burglarized. Use good judgment when entering a home alone and practice preventive measures. Sometimes it is the small things that could prevent a break-in, such as keeping yours doors locked. Remember, burglars don’t always target the home; it could happen anywhere, so never leave a purse, wallet or expensive item in your car in open view as this could be an open invitation for thieves.
Nina Kratz is an insurance representative. She blogs about home security in her spare time for a variety of blogs. Visit http://www.securitychoice.com/ to learn more.