With the appearance of the deadbolt in the 1960s, residential burglaries began a rapid decline which continued through the 1970s as more and more homeowners took advantage of this simple anti-theft tool. Today, 25 percent of homes in the United States have electronic security systems, backed up by other home safety options such as reinforced glass, superior lock technology and private security guards monitoring neighborhoods.
How can you prevent home burglaries? While a majority of home invasions take place during vacations and holidays, many thefts do take place during normal weekdays when families are not at home. These are often crimes committed by locals who know routines, or transient workers who seized an opportunity to case a house out for a day or two before gaining entry.
Around 40 percent of annual household burglaries in the United States are not forced entries, meaning access to the home was made easy through the action or inaction of a homeowner (leaving a door unlocked, a security system unmanned, a window or garage door unprotected, etc.)
Here are 8 ways you can help prevent home burglaries:
Alert potential home invaders that your home is protected by a security system. Based on a report by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, almost 60% of convicted burglars stated the presence of a security system influenced their decision to target another home.
Have a local police officer come do a walk around of your property and point out weaknesses. Most departments have a team of officers who are responsible for community education and neighborhood watch training programs, and they can assist you in making your home more secure.
Trim back shrubbery and trees around your house. Extra foliage provides cover for people trying to break in during the day.
Install motion detectors that trigger lights and cameras when someone nears a door or window. These can quickly deter would be robbers who seek to use cover of darkness.
If you are often gone for several days at a time, invest in a simple timer that will turn interior lights on and off at seemingly random intervals. Also arrange for mail pickup and ask neighbors to check your door for flyers. Burglars have been known to put flyers on doorknobs and wait to see how long it takes for them to be removed.
Hide your valuables elsewhere than the bedroom. The master bedroom is the first place burglars look when they are seeking valuables. Keep a detailed list of all items of value in a separate place (such as a bank box). Make certain you have adequate scheduled property insurance for high ticket items.
Consider having a house sitter if you have to be away from home for more than a few days. Simply having a person in the house can be a strong deterrent for burglars.
Secure the door between the garage and the house. Many burglaries are successful because the garage door is breached, and the door between the garage and the home is unsecured.
Following these guidelines can help reduce your chances of having your home burgled while you are at work or out of town. It’s a small set of actions you can take that could pay off in more ways than one.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not form a part of, replace, change or amend any terms, conditions, provisions or language within your Olympus Insurance policy. We encourage you to read your entire policy.
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