Burglaries are one of the most common property crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a burglar strikes every 30 seconds in the U.S., and nearly 63 percent of all burglaries take place at residential properties. While the frequency of burglaries can be concerning, there are several easy, cost-effective ways to safeguard your home to eliminate the chances of a burglary.
Ways to prevent home break-ins:
Start outside – check entry points and secure belongings
To keep out unwanted guests, deter them from coming in. Take a walk around your home to identify various points of view, valuable items up for grabs and potential hideout spots. For example, a clear view of expensive art, electronics and furniture through a window may invite unwanted visitors into your home. Consider installing blinds or curtains to block the view of inside your home especially at night or when you aren’t there.
It’s common to keep a grill on the patio, a car parked on the driveway and bikes on the grass. While these spots are convenient and seemingly harmless, leaving them unattended outside creates an easy way for thieves to steal them. Instead, store these valuable items in your garage or shed when they are not in use to keep them out of reach.
In addition to beautifying a property, landscaping can increase both the energy efficiency and safety of a home. When sprucing up your space, plant with a purpose by creating open areas and keeping bushes trimmed so burglars have fewer places to hide out. Another recommendation is to plant thorny bushes – like roses or tangelo – in exposed areas.
Speaking of hiding: don’t place a spare key outside. Thieves know to look under door mats and in gravel for fake rocks to find keys. Instead of leaving a spare key on your property, give it to a trusted neighbor or family member if you’re out of town.
Installing smart technology can help you monitor outside activity whether you’re home or not. Consider installing security cameras, a smart doorbell and smart locks. These are great safety tools that can notify you if there is motion outside or someone is at your door.
Move inside – lock it up
Just as much as you want to deter unwanted guests from trying to enter your home, locking them out is key. Even if you’re home, it’s recommended to keep doors and windows closed and locked at all times. Open windows and doors invite surprise visitors into your home – whether intended or not.
It’s important to safely lock your home. Especially in older homes, it’s common for doors to have weak locks that can easily be broken. To increase security, use deadbolt locks for exterior doors and vertical bolt locks for sliding doors.
An often-overlooked home security enhancement is changing the locks when new owners or renters inhabit a home. Even though the previous owners or tenants have turned in their keys, there’s no way to know for sure if copies of the keys were made and distributed.
When we say lock up, that means the garage, too. It’s easy to pull into the garage and go right inside. Taking a few seconds to lock the garage door – and making sure it goes all the way down – further enhances your security.
It’s important to lock up your valuables. invest in a home safe and bolt it to the floor. A safe is the perfect spot to securely store prized possessions like jewelry, family heirlooms and important documents. If it’s not bolted to the floor, many burglars will take a home safe and find a way to open it outside of your home.
While attempted burglaries can always happen, minimizing the threat to your property by following our best practices for safeguarding your home to prevent burglaries will minimize the fear and likelihood of it happening to you.
Advancing your home safety with home security technology may even reduce your homeowners insurance premium. Contact your Rural Mutual agent to determine the best insurance options for your home.
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