As a homeowner, it’s your worst nightmare: the moment you realize someone has broken into your home, ransacked your belongings, violated your personal space and even worse – threatens you and your family. Home intrusions can happen to anyone, and the fear and sense of vulnerability that comes with these crimes can be devastating. In fact, in the United States there is a home break-in every 23 seconds. With that said, there are steps you can take to make your home a less attractive target. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your home and your loved ones.
Here are 10 steps you can take to make your home safer from theft and burglaries right now:
- Secure your doors and windows. One of the most common ways burglars enter a home is through an unsecured door or window. Make sure all of your doors and windows are properly locked. You may even want to consider adding additional security measures such as deadbolts or window locks in place for a second layer of protection.
- Install a security system. A security system can be a powerful deterrent against burglaries, as it alerts you and the authorities if someone tries to break into your home. Look for a system that includes motion detectors, door and window sensors, and a loud alarm. The loud enough alarm will not only help awaken or alert you, but it will also alert neighbors and possibly scare intruders enough to have them run out of your home.
- Use lighting to your advantage. Burglars are less likely to target homes that are well-lit, as they are more visible and easier to spot. Consider installing outdoor lighting, as well as placing lights on timers inside your home so it appears someone is always home.
- Trim your bushes and trees. Overgrown bushes and trees can provide cover for burglars trying to break into your home. Trimming them back can help reduce the risk of a break-in. The recommended height to trim bushes is 3 feet or lower.
- Get to know your neighbors. Building relationships with your neighbors can be a powerful tool in preventing burglaries. They can keep an eye on your home when you’re away and alert you of any suspicious activity. You can also use apps like NextDoor to learn more about strange activity happening in your neighborhood and to build connections with your neighbors.
- Secure your valuables. Keep your most valuable items, such as jewelry and electronics, in a secure location, such as a safe or a locked cabinet. This can help prevent burglars from taking these items if they do break into your home.
- Don’t advertise your valuables. Burglars often scout out homes before breaking in, looking for signs of valuable items. Avoid leaving boxes for expensive items, such as electronics or appliances, outside for trash pickup, as this can tip off burglars to what’s inside your home. It’s also a good idea to bring packages inside your home rather than letting them stack up on your porch or driveway.
- Be mindful of what you post on social media. It’s tempting to share photos and details of your vacations and other activities on social media, but this can also give burglars a window into when your home is unoccupied. Be mindful of what you post, and consider setting your accounts to private or not sharing your whereabouts. Your social media privacy settings are there for a reason!
- Keep your garage door closed and locked. Many burglars enter homes through the garage. In fact, an intruder can break into your home in just 6 seconds through the garage door.
- Use smart home technology. Smart home devices, such as security cameras and smart locks, can help you keep an eye on your home and alert you to any suspicious activity. The best part of having a security camera is that many record footage once they detect movement and store this data in the cloud so you can access it easily anywhere, anytime.
By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of a break-in at your home. While you can’t completely eliminate the risk of a burglary, taking these steps to secure your home can help deter intruders by making access more difficult while protecting your family and giving you greater peace of mind!