Home Maintenance Tip: Prevent a Home Burglary
Posted on December 04, 2015

With a home burglary occurring every 15 seconds in this country, you may have already been a victim. Fortunately, most items that thieves are seeking such as cash, jewelry, laptops, guns, digital cameras and other small electronics can be replaced. However, a sense of security and peace of mind are much more difficult to recover.

Understanding a burglar’s mindset may prevent your house from being a target. Burglars want to be in and out of your home in six minutes or less. Typically, there is little advanced planning making most burglaries crimes of opportunity. Thieves will skip houses that require too much effort, skill or tools and those appear to be too risky such as those with an alarm system or with an indoor dog. 62% of burglaries occur between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. while most family members are at work or school.

So what can you do to not be an easy target and to slow down anyone who wants to victimize your home?

  • Keep your doors and windows locked. It’s simple to do but as many as 30% of break-ins are through open or unlocked windows or doors.
  • Keep your garage door closed so that you don’t advertise your personal property to anyone passing by.
  • Rekey all locks when you move to a new apartment or house.
  • Make sure that exterior doors are solid core or metal clad and have a 1” deadbolt throw bolt with 3” screws used to secure the strike plate into the door frame. Fully threaded 3” screws should be used in the hinges. Front doors are the most frequent point of entry.
  • Lock pet doors.
  • Install a metal jammer or sawed off broom handle on sliding glass patio door tracks to prevent movement of the door.
  • Install motion sensitive lights near all doors particularly on the rear of the house. Make sure that fixtures are installed at a height so that bulbs cannot be easily unscrewed. Good lighting is a known deterrent to crime.
  • Store ladders and tools in a garage or in a locked shed so that they can’t be inadvertently used to break into your own house.
  • Prune shrubs and hedges so that they don’t serve as a hiding place for burglars.
  • Use lights and a radio on timers to make your house seem occupied when you are away.
  • Store valuables in a location other than the master bedroom which is often the first stop for thieves to look for cash and jewelry.

If you have experienced a burglary, don’t think you are protected from it happening again. Thieves sometimes burglarize the same houses a second time because they know the layout and where the valuables are found. Also, after a burglary, most homeowners will be replacing the stolen goods.

One of the best strategies to prevent a theft is to know your neighbors and agree to watch each other’s homes. Report any suspicious activity in your neighborhood to the police.

 

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