The only thing worse than being burglarized is having someone break in while a family member is at home. Lately, home invasions have been the unfortunate headlines in our Tri-State area news. Many times, a home invasion starts out as a burglary, with the invader thinking the home is empty. Here are a few simple security solutions you can use, to reduce the possibility of a home invasion.
Always look to see who is knocking. If you don’t know the person or cannot easily recognize the organization they represent, it’s okay to tell them you “Aren’t interested” through a closed door. If this person was a potential burglar, your acknowledgement lets them know that you are home and they will be inclined to look for their treasures elsewhere.
Secure all Exterior Doors
Number one rule – lock your doors! If family members are planning to be home late at night, they should have their own key to open the door. All exterior doors should be solid core and have heavy-duty dead bolt locks to prevent someone from easily kicking in a door.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Expensive items such as flat screen TVs, computers, guns and stereo equipment can be enticing to a burglar who sees them when walking by your home. If possible, keep these items away from the line of sight of your front windows. According to a University of North Carolina study, 88% of all burglars are looking for drugs or money to buy drugs. So if you have prescription bottles, put them out of sight and not on an end table or window sill.
Light it Up
The more likely a criminal is to be seen, the less likely they are to attempt to enter a home. Keep the lights on your home in good condition by changing light bulbs and repairing broken fixtures. Motion activated lights on the side and back of your home can be a great deterrent as the activation of a light may catch the eye of your neighbors.
Install and Use Your Home Security System
When built and installed by a reputable provider, a security system will allow you to secure your property and your loved ones inside. Systems should be built so that the user can arm the perimeter of the home while the occupants are safe inside. If the worse case scenario happens, a wireless panic button when pressed will immediately alert your home security monitoring station that you are in trouble and to dispatch the police. These buttons work whether the system is armed or disarmed and are usually more convenient to use than finding a phone and dialing 911. Signs in the yard and decals on the doors, don’t ALWAYS deter burglars and home intruders because they know some people forget to turn them on. If you have a security system, use it and use it properly. Just recently, one Tri-State area resident had someone knock at the door late at night, and he turned his system off to open the door…to three armed home intruders.
If you are having work done on your home, don’t share your keys. Even if the company is reputable, a single key can be shared with people who may not be the best of character. Keys can also be duplicated. Simply because someone doesn’t have a key, doesn’t mean they can’t get into your home. So do not share the codes to your security system with workers. And when the work is done check to make sure that windows are still locked. Be sure to secure doors, especially doors that obviously aren’t used much.
Foresight is less expensive than hindsight, and maybe even less frightening. So take the time to put these security solutions into actions in your home.
For more information on these and other ideas, contact us.