If you lose sleep over home invasions and potential robberies, you might not be overreacting. One in every 36 homes will be robbed at some point in time, and the FBI reports that a million homes are robbed with the occupants inside every year. Fortunately, you can prevent problems by making a few changes ahead of time. Here are three ways to prevent your home from being targeted by burglars.
1. Be Private With Your Schedule
While some criminals intentionally target homes with people inside, the majority of burglars prefer an empty house they can peruse to their heart's content. Unfortunately, if you keep a predictable schedule or you tend to be public about your outings, you might be making it easier for criminals to enter your home undetected.
Research has shown that the majority of home robberies occur between the hours of 10am and 3pm, when burglars know that homeowners are away at school or work for the day. Although it isn't always possible to work from home or skip classes to prevent crime, you can confuse criminals by making it seem like you are home when you aren't.
Consider leaving your television on and plugging the cord into a timer so the system clicks on and off throughout the day. If you have a DVR, set programs to record so the channel changes. If you have a close neighbor, ask them to collect your mail when they grab theirs, so thieves won't see those packages on your doorstep or those letters in your mailbox.
Also, be careful with social media, especially when you are going to a long event or leaving on vacation. Instead of posting pictures from the current trip you are on, add to your timeline when you get home. Never mention future vacation dates online, and skip invitations to indicate you will be "going" to a big event like a concert. Since most venues list schedules for big events, indicating that you will be away is like an invitation for a robber to plan entry into your home.
2. Bolster Your Front Door
Although most people imagine thieves shimmying in through a basement window or hacking the garage door opener, the fact of the matter is that most thieves enter homes in the least conspicuous place possible — the front door. In fact, research from The Washington Post show that 34% of robbers prefer the front door, since most people don't think twice about seeing a salesman, service professional, or well-dressed stranger knocking on a door.
To keep your front door from being kicked in or the lock from being picked, do what you can to bolster the area ahead of time. Make sure your frame is screwed in or bolted to studs surrounding the door, and invest in pick-proof door locks.
Experts recommend installing a five-lever lattice deadbolt in addition to a handle lock to make the door even more difficult to pick. It can also help to keep your front porch well-lit and visible from the street, since it becomes easier for criminals to operate when people can't see them easily.
3. Install a Home Security System
One of the easiest ways to keep your home from becoming low-lying fruit for burglars is to install a home security system. In a study that focused on past robbery habits of prisoners, researchers found that 83% of offenders would check for a security system before targeting a home, and 60% would abandon the job if a system was in place.
Talk with a security system professional about which type of security system would work well for your home. Oftentimes, newer systems can be tied into home automation units, giving you the option of arming and disarming your system quickly and easily.
Make your home a safer place today by working with us here at Coastal Burglar Alarm. Our team of professionals has helped home and business owners to secure their properties, prevent problems, and live happier lives. Visit our showroom or website today to learn more.