Nothing is quite as heart wrenching as realizing your home has been broken into. Your house is supposed to be your safe haven, your sanctuary, your little corner of the world where you can feel comfortable and secure. It can be heart wrenching to have your belongings stolen, but what’s more devastating is the feeling of violation and loss of security. Returning to a home which has been broken into robs you not only of your belongings but of your emotional stability. Victims of burglaries often report feeling scared to return or stay alone and struggle with anxiety and post traumatic stress from incidents.
So what can you do to prevent the loss of your belongings and your security? The number one thing you can do is to make it hard for burglaries to even occur. Robbers and thieves are opportunists. They’re going to rob whichever house provides them with the easiest target. You need to be sure that you provide enough barriers to any potential thief that they decide that it’s not worth the trouble and move on to the next house. Everyone’s home and neighborhood is different so it’s impossible to provide specific steps that you should take to make your home less appealing to burglars. However, there are some general rules we can look to for guidance.
Make your home difficult for burglaries
First and foremost, you want breaking into your home to be a time consuming affair for any would-be thieves. Research has shown that if it takes more than four or five minutes to break into a home, then the burglar will probably go elsewhere. So for starters, dead-bolt your windows and doors and keep the locks engaged! Locks serve no purpose if you don’t use them. Also, be sure to have a strong door. Ideally you want one that that’s made of metal or hardwood (at least 1.75 inches thick) and securely fastened to a solid frame.
Keep your home well lit
Keep your home and yard well lit. Front porch lights not only welcome you home but make it difficult for a burglaries to occur through the front door without being seen. Flood lights can also highlight dark and shadowed areas where a robber might gain entry. Another option might be to have those flood lights on motion sensors, it’ll save you electrical costs from not having the lights constantly lit, and it might spook the thieves.
Secure your valuables
Keep your valuables out of sight. Having a big screen TV and entertainment system that can be seen from the street only puts a big bulls-eye on your home. Keep shades drawn at night or close valuable into entertainment cabinets before you go to bed. It’s also a good idea to check with your HMS broker to make sure you have adequate coverage for your valuables, certain items like jewelry might have a standard limit that will apply.
Alarms and neighbor check-ins
Making sure your house looks inhabited. If you’re going on vacation invest in timers which can turn lights on and off periodically. Have a trustworthy friend or neighbor check on the house occasionally or even hire a house sitter. Install an alarm. If a thief is able to bypass other security measures, a piercing alarm is sure to scare them away before they can take anything too valuable or worse, do any harm to inhabitants.
Finally, it’s critical to be sure that your home is properly insured. If you are the unfortunate victim of a burglary, it takes away some of the sting to know that your insurance company will be there to help. And, as an added bonus, many of the above preventative measures can reduce your insurance premiums!