No matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, you’re always at risk of home invasion. Illegal entry is a real threat all across the country, and that’s why it’s essential you take steps to protect yourself, your family, and your property. In fact, everything you know about home invasions might not be the reality.
Movies and TV like to paint an unreliable picture of what a burglar really does. For example, you’ll see a stereotypical black-clad individual sleuthing around your home at night. In reality, according to the FBI, 60% of burglaries happen during the day. Another alarming statistic is that an average of $2,361 of the property is stolen during a break-in.
So how do you protect your home now that you’re aware of these facts about safety? No matter if you live in a suburb or in the heart of the city, an invasion can happen to you. Keep from becoming just another statistic with these 3 guidelines for home security below.
1. Know the Signs
First, it’s important to know the signs of when your home might be considered a target for invasion. The majority of home invasions are preventable as long as you make the right observations early in the process.
Most burglars don’t randomly choose homes to target. They stake out their neighborhoods in advance, sometimes visiting locations multiple times before they make contact. Here are common signs you might have a burglar in your neighborhood:
- New Vehicles – There is a suspicious new vehicle parked on your street for an extensive amount of time. This car does not belong to a neighbor and you’ve never seen it before. Many thieves use vehicles with dark windows to stake out a home to see owner’s habits.
- Stranger – While it’s not unusual to see new people wandering through your neighborhood, you should be suspicious if they seem to be eyeing properties or snooping around in places they shouldn’t. Many times these people will pretend to be home service employees like lawn maintenance or electric services. Never invite an uncertified or uninvited workman into your home.
- Photography – If you catch some taking photos of your home, they might be canvassing your neighborhood. Thanks to smartphones, it can be hard to catch these photos in action.
- Markers – Finally, some criminals will leave markers on your home to keep track of targets. These could be strings, tape, or anything else that doesn’t feel right. They might leave it on a nearby lamppost, the side of your home, or even the sidewalk.
If you see any of these signs above, contact your law enforcement or your local neighborhood watch. There’s a good chance either you or your neighbors are being targeted.
2. Secure Windows and Doors
The right security system will help keep your home safe from intruders. If any activity happens near your door or when the window is opened, law enforcement will be notified and an alarm will be activated. However, you can do more to keep your windows and doors secure.
Always keep your doors and windows locked, even when you’re at home. Make sure to double-check weak areas like the door to your garage or sliding glass doors. You can reinforce sliding doors with a door jam, and the same goes for windows.
Finally, make sure there are no large, unkempt hedges or vegetation near your windows. These are great spots for thieves to hide. Make sure these areas are clear and visible to deter any criminals from lurking around.
3. Keep Your Habits Private
In this day and age, it’s easy to overshare. You want to keep your habits as private as possible so it’s impossible for thieves to catch on to your home activity. This means never sharing personal information like when you’ll be out of town on social media. In addition, avoid advertising your newest technology and fancy things in your home.
The same goes for your trash. Many criminals will go through your garbage to look for signs of an expensive gadget. This is particularly true around the holidays. If there’s a large computer box outside, for example, criminals will know you have something worthwhile in your home.
Instead, take care to destroy packaging so you can dispose of it discreetly. Never leave big boxes on display outside. If possible, bring your garbage or recycling to a communal area so it’s not directly in front of your home. Your buying habits are nobody’s business.
Keep your home safe by following these tips above. These guidelines shouldn’t be ignored if you want your home to be left alone by potential intruders. When in doubt, join your local crime watch to stay on top of any dangers.