Do you live in constant fear of being robbed at home? Are you trying to figure out how to keep burglars out of your house? Burglaries can be frightening, especially if you live alone and have no one to protect you. A staggering 75% of all homes in the United States will be broken into by a burglar in the next 20 years, regardless of area. Knowing that you could be one of those homes makes this number frightening. But don't fret; this article will show you how to keep intruders out of your house.
What Do the Majority of Burglaries Have in Common?
Contrary to popular belief, the majority of burglaries occur between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. This window of opportunity exists when children are at school and adults are at work. The average burglar prefers to break into a house when no one is present. It's also easier to escape any curious spectators during the daytime hours when neighbors' homes are empty due to errands or employment.
In reality, the majority of home break-ins are motivated by greed. Most burglars will not go to great lengths to get access to your home. They seek out easy points of the entrance where they will be least noticed.
The following are the most prevalent entry locations for home break-ins:
34% of robbers simply twist the doorknob and walk in.
Breaking In Through a First-Floor Open Window:
23% of burglars use a first-floor open window to gain access to your home.
22% of robbers enter via the back entrance.
9% of burglars enter through the garage.
4% of burglars choose the basement as their entry point.
Unlocked Areas, Sheds, and Storage:
Another 6% will just try to get into any unlocked space.
A brave 2% will choose the second-story window.
Keeping these sections of your home secure will drastically lower your chances of a break-in.
How To Avoid a Home Invasion
1) Keep Your Curtains and Blinds Drawn
Credit: Jason Tessier
Windows provide you a bird's-eye view of the world, but they also give others a bird's-eye view of your world. Criminals may examine windows to scout possible burglary targets or determine whether inhabitants are there. Keep curtains or blinds drawn or add a privacy film in any place where you aren't currently enjoying natural light to protect yourself. This is also true when you leave the house for work, errands, or vacations. Additionally, avoid leaving valuables visible near windows. Motorized smart blinds that may be raised or lowered via an app can be beneficial. Don't forget to keep your windows locked at all times.
2) Change the Locks
Who has access to your home's keys? Do you know who the previous owners provided keys to, even if you trust them? Or how many sets of keys have gone missing? Anyone who has access to their keys, including friends, tradespeople, caretakers, and others, now has access to your property. A call to a locksmith who can rekey the locks (typically for a low cost without having to replace the entire lockset) or replace those that are old or structurally weak would add an extra layer of security and peace of mind.
A smart lock, which allows you to program a code into the lock that can be altered, and some smart locks even allow users to lock and open the doors using their smartphones, are among the latest lock options. This type of lock has the advantage of allowing the user to easily add temporary codes, so if you need to let a repair person, babysitter, caregiver, or even another family member into your home while you're away, you can give them a code that allows access for a set period of time before being disabled, securing your home. A word of caution: Just as you should change your banking passwords regularly, it's also a good idea to keep a passcode lock on any phone that can be used to control house access.
3) Purchase a Home Security System
Installing a trustworthy home security system and alarm system is the ultimate norm when it comes to home security measures. There are various top home security systems available that will allow you to select one that meets both your security needs and your budget, ranging from ones that can be professionally installed and monitored to DIY solutions that still provide excellent protection against home invasions.
If you live in a small apartment and want to keep an eye on things while you're away, security cameras can do the job for a fraction of the cost of a full security system. Nearly all freestanding security cameras link to your home's Wi-Fi so you can monitor what's going on from your phone or tablet, and most feature built-in motion and sound sensors that send push and email notifications when they're triggered. If the security camera is near a window, you can usually adjust the motion sensitivity to avoid false alarms caused by pet activity or passing cars, and you can set up a schedule to turn the sensors on and off at specific times of the day.
4) Home Safe
Installing two safes in your home is a good idea. If you are the victim of a home invasion and are forced to open the safe, fill the decoy safe with disposable items while keeping sentimental heirlooms and jewels in a diversion safe like this one TRAVAH. Keep in mind that criminals expect a safe in the master bedroom, so choose a location that is less likely to be targeted
5) Motion Sensor Lights
Motion-activated lights will flash an unwelcome light on anyone who trespasses outside your property, which is a good deterrent against unwelcomed trespassers with options within your budget. When you are away from home and an unauthorized visitor comes, you can set motion-sensing smart lights to turn on. If you're on vacation, this can also alert any nearby neighbors who are keeping an eye on things that something isn't quite right.
6) Keep the Front Door and Garage Door Closed
The front door is thought to be where most criminals enter a residence. Make sure all exterior doors are solid core and consider installing deadbolt locks, three-inch screws in door jambs, and dowel rods in sliding doors tracks to reinforce your door frames and hinges. Additionally, replace the locks on your outside doors with high-security locks, which can help keep burglars out of your home. Install a wide-angle peephole and cover it when not in use, as there are devices that allow you to see through it from the back. Remember to lock the door between the home and the garage, as it is a common entry point for intruders, and avoid keeping your spare key under the mat of your front door.
7) Neighborhood Watch Program
Credit: City of Walker, Michigan
What's good for your community is also excellent for your home. Home intruders may be deterred from trying their luck if you make it plain to them that you live in a neighborhood where neighbors look out for one other. Neighborhood Watch programs are supported by many local police departments. Even if it's just an informal program, you may keep an eye out for your neighbors and ask them to keep an eye out for you. If you decide to make a spare key available to a trusted neighbor, hand it over to them rather than hiding it in an exterior location.
8) Think About Getting a Dog
Dogs don't have to be "guard dogs," although they can alert you to outsiders and deter thieves in some cases. It's worth noting that targeted house invasions in which the perpetrator is familiar with the dog have a lower deterrence value.
9) Be Vigilant With What You Post on Social Media
Credit: Search Engine Journal
Going on a vacation can be exciting and you may want to post on social media. Even if you feel your account's security settings limit the number of individuals who may see your posts to people you know, announcing that your home will be vacant for several days or weeks is an invitation to home invaders. It only takes one friend to forward your message to their friends to make your house a target. Save the thrills and images for when you return home. Because social media circles are so large, be cautious about what you publish.
10) Be Careful of Strangers
In order to obtain entrance to your home, intruders would often masquerade as delivery drivers, maintenance employees, or police officers. Others allege there was an accident nearby or that a car broke down. They will take charge of the situation and enter the home as soon as the door is opened, using force, firearms, or threats.
11) Increase the Visibility of Your Home
Heavy foundation planting and dense shrubbery can provide hiding spots and cover for intruders. When this does not preclude you from having lovely landscaping, evaluate the placement of the plantings and ensure you haven't provided a thief with a shield to utilize while attempting to break into your windows or doors. Trim back overgrown hedges that conceal your home's entry points and lower the height of hedges that obstruct your home's entry points.
If you and your family are the victims of a home invasion or burglary, having the correct insurance can help lessen the damage. Consider adding a collections policy for valuables, such as gold, silver, and art, as the homeowner policy often has limited coverage for these costly assets. Make a home inventory so you can quickly identify your belongings in the case of a break-in.
What’s in a Thief’s Toolbox?
This may conjure up images of Halloween or kid dress-up, but when utilized by a burglar, it's a little less fun. It's a little simpler to explain why you're approaching a house when you're dressed up.
Assuming the character of a "normal" new face, such as a salesman or delivery person, is another popular ruse that helps burglars hide their presence.
Crowbars are useful tools for breaking into a house. Home invaders may easily conceal one beneath their clothing, and these tools can be used to quickly force open a door or smash a window, making them a must-have for any home invasion toolbox.
Ladders or Strewn-About Tools Are Already on the Premises
Construction is a regular sight in residential settings. It's fairly common to see new people come and leave when repairs are needed, ranging from roof repair to roadway construction to simple handyman services. In these situations, burglars may pick up a ladder or a hammer while impersonating a worker on the job, then use the equipment for evil purposes.
Burglaries are frightening, but being aware of your home's weak points and safeguarding them will help you avoid a break-in. Home invasions are becoming more regular, but you don't have to become a victim if you follow these guidelines. So, what are you waiting for? Now is the best time to secure your house!