A burglary occurs in the United States every 15 seconds.
When a burglar enters someone’s home, he or she faces a huge risk, if caught. Burglary is usually classified as a felony and can carry steep sentences, depending on the number of prior offenses and the nature of the crime.
This is nothing for you, the homeowner, to worry about. But, consider this: a burglar will typically only enter your home if it’s an easy target and there is little risk in them getting caught.
To prevent burglary at your home, you have to think like a burglar. Ask yourself this:
- Is it easy to sneak into your home through windows or your garage?
- From the way you park your car, is it obvious to tell when someone is or is not home?
- Do you have neighbors who would call police if they saw something suspicious at your home when you’re away?
Figuring out the answers to these questions, and evaluating your own home safety practices, is the first step in preventing a burglary at your home.
Below are 10 tips that will help you protect yourself and your home from burglars. Remember, nothing is foolproof. But these tips will certainly make it harder and less likely for a burglar to prey on you.
Buy a Home Security System
Buy a home security system so that you and the police will be immediately alerted if someone enters your house when you’re not home. These systems require users to enter a code when they enter the house. An alarm is set off if the code is incorrectly entered or if it is not entered.
If you don’t want to spend money on an alarm, consider this tip from U.S. News and World Report: "buy a home security system for your yard so that it gives the illusion that you have an alarm in your home."
Burglars will be less inclined to enter your home if they know they risk setting off an alarm.
To get quotes on home security systems from top security providers, visit our quotes page.
Keep a Radio or T.V. On
When you’re away from home, keep a radio or T.V. on loud enough so that it will give the impression that you are inside your home. Statistics show that 57.4% of burglaries occur during the day, when the home is empty and burglars suspect its owners are at work.
That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a radio or T.V. on when you’re at work during the day, not just when you go on weekend trips or vacations.
Hide Your Valuables
Don’t leave jewelry or money in plain view from windows or sliding glass doors. Burglars will enter when they know there’s something worth stealing, so it won’t help you protect your home if these items are on display.
Keep blinds pulled closed and stow your valuables away in safe hiding places. Also, don’t leave valuables in your master bedroom. This is an obvious hiding place for burglars and is usually the first room they enter.
Eliminate Hiding Places
Cut down any overgrown brush near or under windows and doors as a way to eliminate potential hiding places for burglars. Burglars won’t target a home, especially during the day, if they’re exposed without a hiding place. If you do have bushes or shrubs, select ones with thorns.
Light Your Property
Keep your yard, porch and driveway well lit. Like with having a yard free of bushes, a burglar will feel less confident about entering your home if the yard and doorway is well lit. Always keep a porch light on at night or install motion sensitive lights.
Be a Good Neighbor
In preventing a burglary, you’ll find that the most important person, aside from yourself, is your neighbor. Speak with a neighbor you trust about keeping an eye on your home when you are away. They can pick up your mail so it doesn’t collect on your doorstep – an obvious sign to burglars that no one is home – during long trips.
If a neighbor notices any suspicious activity, they can alert the police to your home.
When you’re away from home for an extended period of time, have your home phone calls forwarded to your cell phone or another number so that a burglar does not here your phone ringing repeatedly without being answered. At a minimum, turn down the volume of your ringer so that it can't be heard from outside of the home.
There is still is something to be said for having a big dog visible, or at least his bark audible, in your yard. Dogs are a detractor to burglars because they bark when someone new or something unfamiliar is in their territory. Obviously, getting a Great Dane or a Rottweiler is not always feasible or realistic for many homeowners, so try the trick that you learned earlier with home security signs. Hang a sign in a front window or somewhere visible that warns intruders of a guard dog.
A Burglar at Your Door
If you’re at home and a stranger tries to get in, either by acting like he’s selling something or claiming he needs to use the phone, first and foremost don’t let him enter. Secondly, when talking to the person, act like someone else is there with you at the home if you’re alone.
Don’t forget the obvious, like keeping doors and windows locked. If you do this every time you leave, it will become a habit and serve as a detractor to a burglar.