Homeowners: Reduce Burglary Risk
With These 5 Easy Steps
While it is a fact that residential security alarm systems are the most effective deterrent of potential burglars, there are some additional easy-to-implement and practical ways to further protect a home against burglary by making it harder for a would-be burglar to break in. These deterrence methods should be utilized along with a security system. Some methods involve preventative steps, while others involve simple everyday tasks.
For example, something as simple as forgetting to retrieve the newspaper from the driveway or leaving a package at the door may entice a burglar to target a home. For more home security tips like this, continue reading below.
Step 1: Keep a Tidy Home
Keeping a tidy home may seem inconsequential when it comes to home security, however, as stated above, noticeable acts of negligence may lead to a burglar targeting a specific home. For example, if children leave bicycles and toys out in the yard, a burglar may notice the neglect and be led to believe that other valuables will be left unattended and therefore easy to acquire. If possible, store valuables out of sight in properly locked sheds and/or garages. It’s also important to use curtains to block windows in places like garages, basements and screened-in patios. These points-of-entry are valuable to a burglar because, without curtains, he or she can quickly and easily case the room before attempting a burglary. Also, always make sure to lock the doors and windows, even when running out for a quick errand.
Step 2: Maintain Landscaping
Properly maintained trees, shrubbery and plants not only increase the value of a home, but they also deter burglars. Unruly shrubs provide useful cover to burglars attempting a robbery. If the bushes in front of a house are overgrown and dense enough to provide cover, a homeowner is creating an unnecessary risk. Some homeowners will also put loose gravel in the shrubbery beds in front of a home, this way, an audible crunching sound may be heard if someone is approaching. It’s also important to evaluate the trees surrounding a home. If there are sturdy branches extending out over a home, one should think about removing them. Tree limbs can provide burglars with easy access to the roof or second story windows of a home.
Step 3: Improve Lighting
Proper lighting in and around a home can substantially improve the security of a home. Motion activated lights in the driveway and outdoor areas like aforementioned pools and patios are strong deterrence methods for burglars. Common poorly lit areas also include the back door, decks, garages, basement stairwells and side walkways. Lighting is especially important for homes located near woods, parks, golf courses and other secluded areas. These types of areas provide cover for burglars to approach a home in an unconventional way, but lighting eliminates that cover. It’s important to install the lights high enough so that they cannot be easily tampered with. If lights pose a problem to a homeowner’s budget, even lighting as simple as solar powered landscape lighting can deter a burglar.
Step 4: Secure Windows & Doors
Placing valuables and other highly coveted items in plain view through a window is a lot riskier than some may think. An obviously valuable item placed in plain view may be enough to persuade a burglar to target a home. Not only is said item easily accessible, it’s an indicator that there may be other high priced items in the home. If it is important for a homeowner to display this type of item in plain sight, it is essential to install home security and proper window locks.
The most common entry method for burglars is to kick in the door to a house. It’s a common misconception that the higher quality the door, the harder it is to break in. This is not necessarily true as it is the doorjamb that often splits near the lock’s strike when kicked in. So, no matter the material of the door, a doorway is still vulnerable if the doorjamb is low quality. However, the doorjamb is easy to reinforce using screws and deadbolt locks that can be purchased at any home supply store.
Step 5: Connect With Neighbors & Your Community
According to the Pew Research Center, more and more mothers have recently entered the U.S. workforce in the past several decades than ever before. The share of two-parent households in which both parents work full-time now stands at 46%, compared to 31% in 1970. This means that homes are being left completely unattended more frequently now. Households are vulnerable to burglary during the day, especially when kids are at school and both parents are at work. Most neighborhoods have at least a few residents home during the day and sometimes all it takes to prevent theft is an obvious sign that people in a community are on the lookout. It would be in a homeowner’s best interest to organize a neighborhood-wide meeting to discuss the possibility of starting a neighborhood crime watch.
Following simple steps like these can greatly reduce a homeowner’s chances of being burglarized. When it comes to protecting against burglary, the name of the game is preemptive planning. Attentiveness and precaution, along with installing a residential security alarm system, can go a long way and these steps can make all the difference in the world for a homeowner.