You can take some steps to make your home less inviting for a would-be burglar.
- Pretend you are a burglar. Case your own home. Walk around and look at your home like a burglar would. Are windows frequently left open and on the ground level? Is there a sliding glass door that could stand a little extra protection? Are expensive items easy to see from the outside? A few simple adjustments like moving a computer and closing windows may make your house less tempting.
- Lock your doors. Although we know we need to lock our doors when we go out, a lot of times we simply don’t. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 40 percent of burglaries don’t include forced entry. Thieves literally are just walking in and taking what they want. A locked door is a deterrent.
- Don’t label your keys or mailbox. If your key chain has your name on it and you lose your keys, it won’t take long for a thief to get your address and walk in. In addition, putting your name on your mailbox helps a thief find out information about you and track your moves. He’ll know when you’re not home.
- And don’t hide a key. A thief knows where to look for hidden keys. Leave a key with a neighbor, but don’t leave one under a mat, in a light fixture or in a flower pot.
- Create the illusion of being home. Leave on lights, the radio or television. If you are going on vacation, use light timers and have someone pick up your mail, newspapers, flyers and packages. Have someone mow your lawn in the summer and shovel your walkways and driveway in the winter. An un-shoveled driveway with no tire tracks is an obvious sign that no one is home. I personally manage mine through my security system. There are lots of great smart lightbulbs, away settings, etc and easy ways to have technology create the appearance that you’re home.
- Get to know your neighbors. It’s nice if someone nearby notices if something unusual is happening. You can also tell your neighbors when you’re going to be gone so they can watch for unusual activity. And studies show that neighborhood crime watches do deter against criminal activity. If there’s not one in your neighborhood, start one.
As I side note I don’t know the statistics on this technique but it’s minimal investment for a potentially good break-in deterrent. Install “smile you’re on camera signs”, “beware of dog”, etc other security signs. This might be enough to have the burglar turn around.
Don’t be a target for a home invasion. Taking steps to protect yourself and even your neighbors is easy. Better safe than sorry! I have a security service vendor who I trust very much to help with security system installation and home automation techniques. If you’d like an intro let me know.