One of the worst fears is wondering whether your home will be broken into. There are about 2.5 million burglaries every year. Of those, 66% are home break-ins. Burglars take an average of $2,416 worth in belongings per burglary, but that’s nothing compared to the feeling of losing your safety. How do you protect yourself? What about your family? If you have children, this fear is amplified. How do you keep your children safe in case of a burglary?
The best option when it comes to the possibility of burglary is prevention. You should safeguard your home before anyone even thinks about breaking in and stealing. There are many ways you can do this, and not all of them require expensive anti-burglary systems.
- Identify weak spots in your home. Look for windows that can be easily yanked open or smashed and doors with weak locks. Make sure you move any valuables out of view from the windows. At the very least, have shades covering your windows to hide any valuables inside.
- Keep doors and windows locked with updated locks. As locks grow old, they grow easier to dislodge or kick open. Switch them out and keep all doors and windows locked, especially while you’re away. Most burglaries occur between 10 am and 3 pm while most people are at work. Don’t be fooled, though—you should still lock your doors and windows at night, too.
- Reinforce doors and windows with screws and metal frames. This makes them stronger and harder to pry open.
- Show you have an alarm system. Putting up a sign in your yard or on your fence will deter burglars by showing them that you have a burglar alarm that will notify the homeowner and the police if someone breaks in.
- Get a dog. This one might seem odd, but dogs—especially medium to large-sized dogs—are great thief deterrents. Dogs will usually growl and bark if they see a shadowy figure outside, or even if they hear a rustling in the bushes. While it could be just a squirrel, the dog’s alarm can also scare off possible thieves.
- Trim shrubbery and trees. You don’t want to give possible-thieves anywhere to hide.
- Have movement-activated flood lights, especially by your garage. Having them at each entrance is recommended.
- Make friends with your neighbors. This is another one that may seem random, but it helps. Close communities are less likely to be burglarized, and neighbors can help watch your home while you’re gone.
- Be careful about what you post on social media about vacation. A lot of burglars will see that you’re gone on vacation and take that moment to strike. If possible, keep your accounts private or wait to post vacation pictures until you’re already home. Contrary to popular belief, not all burglars are random strangers who happened to walk by your home. In fact, 65% of burglaries are made by people who know the victims.
- If possible, install a security door at the main entrances.
On average, a burglary only lasts between 8 and 12 minutes. It’s a quick affair but can leave your family feeling nervous and violated. If that wasn’t enough, only about 13% of reported burglaries are actually solved. This is because burglars wait until there are no witnesses to strike. Be sure to safeguard your home to the fullest extent. The majority of burglars enter through the front door or a first floor window, so it may be best to reinforce those areas first and foremost.