How often do you reckon home burglaries happen in America? Every hour? Every 30 minutes? The reality is that homes are burgled every 14 to 15 seconds, with 2.2 million taking place across the country. The shocking frequency of this crime is enough to make you feel on edge in your home.
Clearly, you’ll want to keep your property impenetrable. Whether you live in a safe neighborhood, a secure home against intruders is still necessary. It’s necessary for your peace of mind and safety.
But where do you begin?
Lock Your Doors, Secure Your Windows
Most burglars simply walk right into your home without breaking a sweat. They come into the front door (34 percent) by twisting the knob, or they check the back door (22 percent) for access. Some crawl into an open window on the first floor (23 percent) to get into a home; only a few dare to spend energy going through a second-floor window or use the basement as their point of entry.
In most break-in cases, the doors and windows of the homes were unlocked. If they were, breaking them was easy. Clearly, the cheapest and easiest way to secure your home is to make sure you not only have the best locking mechanisms for all of your doors (especially the back and the garage door) and windows — that you lock them when you leave and go to bed.
Don’t Turn Your Yard into a Forest
Experienced burglars are able to assess a property and know right away if it’s going to be an easy job. Your yard could attract or repel intruders. Most burglars choose yards with overgrown trees and thick hedges. Although these green features keep your home cool, they also provide a nice cover for burglars.
The most resourceful burglars also turn your garden into a “toolbox”; moss on trees could be hurled into a glass panel on a door to break in without leaving prints, tree branches could be used as access into a second-floor window.
Get Serious About Marking Your Property
White picket fences are a symbol of Americana; they’re also easy to go over. If you must have a fence around your yard, then be serious about the structure and the material. You don’t have to spend too much to install a tall enough aluminum fence to discourage burglars from climbing over to your property.
Don’t Leave a Security Flaw
Intruders are turned off by massive guard dogs; they know better than to tussle with a Rottweiler or a German Shepard. But what if you’ve got an adorable Yorkshire Terrier or a beagle? They’re easier to manage and a lot less scary. The problem doesn’t stop there — small dogs tend to mean doggy doors. And intruders will exploit that security flaw.
You can secure the pet door according to your budget:
- Install an affordable yet sturdy locking mechanism
- Try a wall-mounted doggy door hidden by bushes
- Get a steel door cover with a combination lock
- Choose a microchip pet door that opens automatically only when your pet’s around
Don’t Live in Darkness
Thieves hate lights. They have the experience of working in the dark. If they spot a house that has little to no lighting in the yard, it becomes a target. You don’t have to light up the garden like it’s the Fourth of July every time. Pick a few key exterior spots to illuminate, like pathways, front and back yards, and the garage.
Save money on energy bills by choosing solar-powered lights and ones you can set on a timer. Either option works well if you’re going on a long vacation.
If you do take a lot of long vacations or have to be away for work, you need the support of your neighbors. A safe home means a safe neighborhood wherein people look out for one another. Be good with neighbors so that when the time comes, you can ask the person next door to take in your mail or look in on your home when you’re away.
Burglars typically choose homes that show “no signs of life” to avoid complications. Mail that piles on your porch indicate you’ve got an empty house, and it’s ripe for picking. And for internet-savvy thieves, they’ll check out your social media account to find out if you’ve posted a vacation pic or if your status happily proclaims you’re away. So practice self-control, and don’t broadcast to the world your home is “all alone.”
Home security doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. For the most part, you just have to be careful about how you keep your property. From simply locking up doors and windows to not telling the world your home’s empty, effective security means being sensible.