The numbers themselves should propel all homeowners into action. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Home break-in (burglary) is the most common threat to our home.” The bureau also reports that in the United States, “A home burglary occurs every 13 seconds. Even more startling is that 1 out of 3 residential assaults is a result of a home break in.”
While most property owners greatly fear the nighttime burglar, home break-ins most often occur during daylight hours. These thieves usually stalk the home and familiarize themselves with the family’s daily schedule. Then they can decide when would be a good time to enter. This is often when the homeowner is making a routine errand, like running to the grocery every Monday morning, or taking a child to day care, etc.
While all of this information is troubling, a few recent statistics should allow every homeowner to breathe a small sigh of relief. Also according to the FBI, “From 2007 to 2016, the burglary rate in the US declined by 30.8%.” Whether this decline is due to an increase in technology or improved law enforcement tactics is unclear; regardless, as the years have progressed, the techniques available to deter burglary have certainly improved. If you are a homeowner, you can greatly decrease the likelihood of a home break-in by buying a home security system. However, there are a number of other less expensive and quite effective methods to deter thieves from visiting your home.
Tip #1: Never mention overnight plans online. Yes, at the time it may be tempting to post a cute selfie of and you and your loved one in the airport as you’re about to leave for a ten-day trip to the Bahamas, but it’s wise not to. Simply put, mentioning travel plans in a public forum, such as Facebook, is extremely dangerous. Now not only all of your friends know that your house is available, their (quite possibly) unsavory friends and/or relatives could easily find out, too.
Tip #2: Man and home’s best friend. Highly consider getting your own furry personal security system that will deter robbers and love you unconditionally. When given a chance to burglarize a home at random, most burglars are less likely to target a home that has a dog. Large dogs can be extremely intimidating because of their bulk and frightening bark, but even a small dog can be effective in warding off intruders.
Tip #3: Light it up! Installing bright, effective outdoor lighting is an easy method to maintain a safe property. Remember, it is great to have a wonderfully well-lit front porch, but that is pointless if the backyard is shrouded in darkness. Installing motion detection lights in specific corners of your property can easily help solve this problem.
Tip #4: Join or form a neighborhood watch group. Most neighborhoods already have one functioning, however if residing in a newer neighborhood, you may need to begin this on your own. A successful neighborhood watch is one that involves an entire community of vigilant neighbors who work together to safeguard each other’s’ property. If one spots a suspicious character surveying or walking around on the premises, a simple phone call to the owner can help end a future break-in.
Tip #5: Watch for landscaping. While it may seem like a great idea for privacy to install several large shrubs near windows and doors, this could actually backfire as an easy location for a robber to hide. Scale back on the shrubs and large trees. Your home and your valuables will thank you in the end.
Tip #6: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Yes, the old adage is very true when it comes to home break-ins. Not only can identity theft easily occur if you throw away bank statements or emails, but trash can also let a burglar know if you just bought that brand new flat screen. Always shred any financial or personal documents before throwing them away. Also, make sure to hold onto large appliance/electronics boxes, until the day of trash or recycling pick-up.
Tip #7: Do not allow a build-up of mail to happen. If going out of town for a longer trip, it is clever to have a trusted neighbor or friend come by and pick up your mail. An easy way for a thief to know you are gone is to spot that your mail or newspapers have piled up.
Tip #8: Consider getting a home security system.Today these systems are not only quite advanced—some even use your phone to show you real-time images of your front stoop—they are often reasonably priced. Having one of these system can not only help safeguard your home from theft, but also greatly add to your peace of mind. Just make sure to do your homework and find the best system that works for you and your bank account.