8 Ways to Secure Your Home From Burglary
Burglary and theft are some of the top threats that homeowners face in what should be their safe, personal space. No one deserves to have their home broken into, their valuables lost, and their safety threatened, but property crimes are an unfortunate reality wherever you live.
The fact is, break-ins are crimes of opportunity. Thieves and burglars will either plan to enter your home when it is most vulnerable, such as when no one is home, or it’s simply an easy target because it’s obvious that the door was accidentally unlocked.
The best theft prevention and protection for your loved ones are securing your home. This means limiting access and deterring break-ins, and ensuring that you can easily alert local authorities and apprehend threats the moment they breach your home.
Whether you live in a tight-knit and quiet community or a big city with higher foot traffic and security risks, it pays to take active steps to keep your home safe. Here are some of the most effective theft prevention tips to reduce the risk of loss, where it matters most:
1. Lock your doors and window
The fastest way for a burglary to occur is if there’s an easy way in. And unfortunately, some homeowners make it that easy. Basic theft prevention teaches us to keep doors and windows locked 24/7.
It also pays to make sure that the hinges, knobs, and glass panes are securely fastened. Any loosening or damage to these parts presents thieves and burglars with an opportunity to break-in.
Make sure to inspect doors and windows regularly to ensure they lock properly and replace them at the first sign of wear-and-tear damage. These simple fixes prevent your home from being an easy target.
2. Install a security system
Theft prevention means taking proactive steps to deter criminal behaviour. Investing in a home security system is a positive step towards preventing burglaries and keeping both your loved ones and valuables safe even when you’re not home. An integrated CCTV and security alarm system allows you to monitor the perimeter and exterior access points, and automatically alert local law enforcement in case of an attempted break-in.
3. Obscure home interiors and valuables
Make sure that curtains or shades are always drawn. This keeps prying eyes away from valuables and discourages scheming burglars scouting the neighbourhood. As well, don’t forget about the garage or shed — keep them locked and ensure that large items are stored inside, rather than left out on your lawn.
As a rule of thumb, never leave anything outdoors. Scattered toys, lawnmowers, ATVs, boats, bikes, and grills on the yard or driveway are easy to steal, simply because they’re already left lying around. Plus, this signals to them that you can afford big-ticket items, and there are more indoors.
4. Keep your home well-lit
Don’t discount the power of a time-tested security measure: Proper lighting. While daring thieves have grown smart enough to operate in broad daylight and hide in plain sight, burglaries still occur when their identities and actions are obscured in the dark.
Installing outdoor lighting is a basic theft prevention measure. When access points and the perimeter are illuminated, there are fewer opportunities for thieves to hide, making it easy for witnesses to easily spot and identify them. Add a modern upgrade to outdoor lighting with motion-sensing lights, as these shine a spotlight on potential intruders to identify and apprehend them quickly.
4. Secure the perimeter
For a lot of tight-knit communities and generally quiet neighbourhoods, a fence might not seem necessary. But as crime rates increase, it’s important to consider restricting access to your home at the first point of contact. Installing a fence secured to the concrete prevents determined thieves from lifting them, and adding pointed tops discourages climbing.
Similarly, don’t let nature aid in their cause. Keep tall shrubs and tree branches regularly pruned; this eliminates access points into second-storey windows and any opportunity to get creative with their break-in strategy or stay hidden while waiting for the perfect time to strike. This also means avoiding leaving any ladders or tools on the yard and, in the process, making it easier for them to scale the walls or cut the locks.
5. Get creative with the spare key
Perhaps the only other thing that rivals a break-in is getting locked out of your own home. But just because you have a spare key hidden among the plants or under the welcome mat doesn’t mean thieves should have the same access. In fact, as these ruses become so popular, it’s no surprise that thieves are catching on, and simply letting themselves indoors without having to break the locks.
Effective theft prevention encourages homeowners to get smarter with their spare keys if they should even leave one lying around. Doing so is a risk — fake rocks, doormats, window ledges, and flower pots have become obvious hiding places, so make sure to skip them. Change the locks right away if the key disappears — it could already be in the hands of a thief just biding their time.
6. Don’t let strangers know you’re on vacation
Burglaries most often occur when homes are left unattended for an entire stretch, like when you’re on vacation. With you out of town, they can easily break-in with a lower risk of getting caught, and by the time the crime is reported, they’ve already enjoyed a headstart in fencing the stolen goods or running out of town. But that shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy a well-deserved vacation anymore; you just have to be smart about it.
For utmost theft prevention and peace of mind while you’re away, make arrangements with a trusted neighbour or friend to regularly drop in, collect your mail, or even house-sit for you. By keeping up the appearance that your house is “lived-in,” thieves are none the wiser about your vacation whereabouts; it discourages them from breaking in, thinking that the place is occupied as usual, even when you’re tanning on the beach or relaxing in a cottage.
7. Build community ties
Getting to know your neighbours isn’t just about being polite — it strengthens your community and helps lower property crime rates. When neighbours know each other, they learn to look out for one another. That includes easily spotting a non-resident suspiciously lurking around and alerting each other to the presence of potential thieves close to your homes.
Strong community ties can even lead to a vigilant neighbourhood watch. It is a key theft prevention strategy that deters criminal activity as residents band together to keep watch over each other’s homes.
Together, you can also advocate for better street lighting and tree branch pruning to keep the entire block safe from thieves and other criminals. And when you’re away, they can be trusted to regularly check on your home and keep it appearing “lived-in.”
For more tips on securing your home and preventing burglaries, call Goodison Insurance at 833-947-1283, or contact us here.